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  • CHAPTER 23 Task- versus Relations- Oriented LeadershipAs was noted earlier, leaders differ from each other in ments and getting the work done. Ahigh task orientationtheir focus of attention. Some concentrate on the task io underlies selected types of leaders, such as Birnbrauerbe accomplished, and some concentrate on the quality and Tysons (1984) hard driver and persuader or Reddinsof their relationships with others. For instance, the be· (1977) autocrat. Purely task-oriented leaders are likely tohavior of project and team leaders can be described in keep their distance psychologically from their followersterms of structuring patterns of communication and and to be more cold and aloof (Blau & Scott, 1962).working methods for their groups. Their behavior can When coupled with an inability to trust subordinates,also be described in terms of their friendship and mutual such concern for production is likely to manifest itself intrust building (Bergen, 1986). Most effective are leade:-s close, controlling supervision (McGregor, 1960). Su::cess-who do both; least effective are those who do neither. fultask·oriented leaders are instmmental in contributingThus, when Berkowitz (1953a) asked members of air- to their groups effectiveness by setting goals, allocatingcrews to describe their aircrew commander with a behav· labor, and enforcing sanctions (Bales, 1958a). They initioioral description inventory, a factor analysis of the results ate structure for their followers (Hemphill, 1950a), definerevealed factors concerned with both task and relation· the roles of others, explain what to do and why, establishships, including maintaining standards of performance, well·defined patterns of organization and channels ofacting on an awareness of situational needs, maintaining communication, and determine the ways to accomplishcoordination and teamwork, and behaving in a nurturant assignments (Hersey & Blanchard, 1981).manner. Misumi (1985) conceived task-oriented leadership be· havior as performance leadership-leadership behavior that prompts and motivates the groups achievement ofMeanings goals (for example, when deadlines are necessary, the leader clearly specifies them and has a good grasp of howTask Orientation ~ work is progressing). For Cleveland (1980), such a focusLeaders differ in their concern for the groups goals and on the task is seen in strategic thinking, in projecting pat·the means to achieve the goals. Those with a strong con· terns of collective behavior, and in considering the wholecern are considered to be task oriented (Bass, I967b; situation. It is also seen in the leaders manifest curiosityFiedler, I967a), concerned with production (Blake & about issues and methods and the system that can con·Mouton, 1964), in need of achievement (McClelland, nect people and things to achieve objectives. Immediate1961; Wofford, 1970), achievement oriented (Indvik, supervision, combined with management as a whole, can1986b), production oriented (Katz, Maccoby, & Morse, foster a "culture of productivity"-a shared image of a1950), production emphasizing (Fleishman, 1957a), goal highly productive work setting-in which supervisors,achieving (Cartwright & Zander, 1960), and work facilita· managers, and workers alike focus on the work beingtive and goal emphasizing (Bowers & Seashore, 1966). done and how to maintain successful operations. AkinThe leaders -assumptions about their roles, purposes, and Hopelain (1986) described such a "culture of produc-and behavior reflect their interest in completing assign· tivity" in three highly productive organizations. 472
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 473 Caveat. Although the various conceptualizations of is linked to relationship behavior: maintaining personaltask orientation have similar-sounding labels, their in- relationships, opening channels of communication,tercorrelations are not necessarily high. In fact, they and delegating to give subordinates opportunities tomay point to different attributes of an individual. use their potential. It is characterized by involved sup-Thus, the direct assessment of the task orientation of port, friendship, and mutual trust. It is leadership that81 Polish industrial personnel-using the Orientation is democratic and employee oriented, rather than auto·Inventory (ORI), which asks examinees for their pre- cratic and production oriented. Mlsumi (1985, p.ll)ferred activities-correlated only.32 with the need for saw it as maintenance-oriented leadership behaviorachievement as measured by the Thematic Appercep- directed toward dispe))jng excessive tensions thattion Test, pn assessment of the projected fantasies of arise in interpersonal relations within a group or or-the same examinees (Dobruszek, 1967). Similarly, ganization, promoting the resohnion of conflict andFiedlers (1967a) determination of task orientation, strife, giving encouragement and support, providingbased on the leaders rejection of the co-worker with an opportunity for minority opinions to be ex-whom they have found it more difficult to work, does pressed, inspiring personal need fulfillment and pro-not correlate as highly with other approaches to mea- moting an acceptance of interdependence amongsuring task orientation. (In fact, the least preferred co- group members.worker measure seems so unique that it will be treatedseparately in this chapter.) Thus, it is necessary to re· Relations·oriented supervision is seen in the commu·view results in the light of variations beer.use of how nication patterns of supervisors and subordinates. Kir-task orientation and relations orientation are mea- meyer and Lin (1987) arranged for observers to recordsured. an average of 107 face-to· face interactions with the suo pervisors of 60 randomly chosen police radio dispatch·Relations Orientation ers. Communications with the dispatchers supervisors were facilitated if the dispatchers felt they were receiv· Leaders also differ in the extent to which they pursue a ing social support from their superiors. Felt supporthuman relations approach and try to maintain friendly, correlated .33 with the dispatchers communicationssupportive relations with their followers. Those with a about work to their superior and .48 with communi-strong concern are identified as relations oriented cations to their superiors about other matters. It corre-(Katz, Maccoby, & Morse, 1950), concerned for mainte- lated .55 ancl .26 with observed face-to-face communi-nance (Misumi, 1985) or group maintenance (Cart- cations from the superiors to the dispatchers aboutwright & Zander, 1960; Wofford, 1970), concerned for work and nonwork matters.people (Blake & Mouton, 1964), people centered (D. R. The concern for relations is manifest in differentAnderson, 1974), interaction facilitative and supportive ways with different systems. Such concern that is in-(Bowers & Seashore, 1966), interaction oriented (Bass, volved in shifting organizations from autocratic sys-I967b), employe~emphasizing (Fleishman, 1957a), and tems I and 2 to democratic systems 3 and 4 (Likert,in need of affiliation (McClelland, 1961). Such leaders 1977,) ,md in contributing to industrial democracy andare expressive and tend to establish social and emo· participative management. The concern for relationstional ties (Bales, 1958a). UsuaJly associated with a rela· is central to humanistic management (Daley, 1986),tions orientation are the leaders sense of trust in subor- which is dedicated to promoting the personal signifi-dinates, less felt need to control them, and more cance of work, the autonomy of employees, and fair-general rather than close supervision of the subordi- ness in appraisals. It is seen in Britain with Theory P,nates (McGregor, 1960). a deemphasis of traditional management-employee re- Astrong relations orientation is the basis of Reddins(1977) "missionary" and "developer" types of leader lationships in favor of managements increased aware- ness of employees needs, increased involvement in theand with consider:ltion for the welfare of subordinates(Hemphill, 1950a). For Hersey and Blanchard (1918), it ISel ehlpkrs 14 ami 21.
  • 474 Leadership and Managementcommunity, and increased use of consultation (Jaap, Although for the purposes of discussion and analysis,1982). It is seen in Japanese management and Theory task· and relations orientation are treated separatelyZ, with its emphasis on long-term employment, unhur- here, Blake and Mouton (1964), Cleveland (1980), andried evaluation and promotion processes, wide·ranging many others, strongly advocated leadership that inte·career opportunities, and consensual decision making grates both the task· and the relations orientations.(Ouchi, 1981). Leaders have to be strong and decisive, yet sensitive to people (Calloway, 1985). Blake and Mouton (1964) argued that maximum leadership effectiveness occursComplications only when the leader, both highly concerned for pro·Although measurements for research use, such as duction and highly concerned for people, integratesthose of Fiedler (1967a) or Bass (1967b), often artifi- the human and task requirements of the job. The ex·cially force separation into the categories of task· or reo c1usively task-oriented manager is seen to treat employ.lations orientation, conceptually, leaders may have ees as machines, to the detriment of the employeesstrong concerns for both task and relationships or for commitment, growth, and morale. The exclusivelyneither. At the same time, observers can accurately dis· people·oriented manager is viewed as running a "coun·criminate among the ratings for emerging task and socio· try club," to the detriment of productivity.2emotional leadership earned by interacting members ofexperimental task groups (Stein, Ceis & Damarin, Antecedents Contributing1973). to Task Orientation A strong concern for relationships and for task ac· and Relations Orientationcomplishment may both be linked to some of the samekinds of leadership behavior. For instance, Hennigar As with the tendencies and preferences for directionand Taylor (1980) found that the assessed receptivity or participation, task or relations orientation tend toto change of 80 middle·management administrators of depend on the leaders personal characteristics as wellpublic schools was high if the administrators were as situational contingencies. These contingencies in·either highly concerned for people or highly concerned clude the characteristics of the follower and of the or·for productivity. But a lack of concern for either was ganization and the task, goals, and constraints in theconnected with a lack of openness to change. situation in which the leadership occurs. Further complicating matters are the "switch·hit·ters." Although the autocratic leader is likely to be di· Personal Antecedentsreelive and caught up with getting the work done andthe democratic leader is likely to be participative and Following Bales (1958a) and Etzioni (1965), Downtonconcerne1t about maintaining relationships, neverthe· (1973) surmised that instrumental (task·oriented) andless, some benevolent autocrats, who pursue a patron· expressive (relations.oriented) modes of leadership areizing leadership style, arc still likely to be concerned assumed by individuals with different temperaments.about their relationships and the needs of their follow- Instrumental leaders are seen to be more aggressive,ers. Likewise, highly task·oriented democratic leaders more able to tolerate hostility, and more anxious to bemay encourage participation in decision making in the respected; expressive leaders are more accommodat·interests of reaching high-quality decisions. Presum· ing, less able to tolerate hostility, and more anxiolls toably, they would be characterized as R. Likerts (1977) be loved.System 4 leaders. A variety of surveys and experiments demonstrated Relations-oriented leadership is likely to contribute this linkage of personality to leadership orientation. Forto the development of followers and to more mature instance, Klebanoff (1976) made use of observers andrelationships. However, task-oriented leadership can be peers rankings of the task- or relations-oriented behav-the source of expert advice and challenging motivation :Kahn and Katz(1953), R. Likert {l977a~ and Oaklander and Heishmanfor subordinates. (196-1). among many others, came to similar conclusions. View slide
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 475ior displayed by 160 participants in 40 small groups that were seen by their subordinates to provide emotionalwere working on various tasks. Task-oriented leaders support and to help in solving the subordinates prob-were more likely to have been first-born children; they lems. Supervisors offering such support and assistancefelt more personal autonomy and tended to be more also scored higher in personal competence, sociability,actively involved. Helmich and Erzen (1975) surveyed emotionality, and altruism. "-108 corporation presidents and found that task·ori- In a Polish study, task orientation on the ORI wasented leaders lacked fulfillment as presidents. The found to correlate positively as high as .41 with intelli·needs of relations·oriented presidents were better met gence, as measured by a Polish version of the Armyby their assignment. General Classification Test. Interaction (relations) ori- entation correlated negatively as low as -.32 (Dobrus· Results with the ORI. Preferences of the highly task- zek, 1967).oriented examinee on the ORI (Bass, 1962c) included Immutable Conditions? These penonal factors, sel·to be wise; to have the feeling of a job well done; to dom mentioned in the prescriptive literature of thehave bright, interesting friends; and to be a leader who past two decades, call attention to Fiedlers (1967a)argu-gets things done. Interaction·oriented (relations·ori. ment that often one needs to find or change the situa-ented) preferences included to have fun with friends, tions to fit the leaders personality. These personal fac·to have helpful friends, to work cooperatively, to make tors make managers and administrators skeptical aboutmore friends, and to be an easy-to·talk·to leader. Ac- the possibilities of training and developing leaders tocording to the scores on various personality invento- be both relations· and task oriented and about those ries, personal factors significantly correlated with task who say they are already. Nevertheless, the correlationsorientation, as assessed by the ORI, included being of task- and relations orientation with personality and mor~ highly self·sufficient, resourceful, controlled in intelligence are modest. Much can be changed in lead·will power, aloof, not sociable, sober-serious, taugh.re. ership orientation and behavior through learning, rolealistic, and aggressive-competitive (Bass & Dunteman, modeling, and experience, reinforced by socialization 1963). Task·oriented leaders were more likely to show processes and organizational culture. Jmore restraint, ascendance, masculinity, objectivity,thoughtfulness, endurance, need for achievement, and Situational Antecedentsheterosexuality (Bass, 1967b). Task orientation was higher among men than among Relations-oriented leaders are likely to emerge whenwomen and among those with greater maturity, educa- they are more attentive to pleasing their subordinatestion, status, and technical training. Task·oriented stu- than their superiors and, by definition, when they aredents were more likely to volunteer and to persist at more concerned about the needs of their subordinates.tasks voluntarily ulltil the tasks were completed (Frye Managers who are "under the gun" to produce imme-& Spruill, 1965). They were self·reinforcers (Marston, diate results are more likely to be task oriented and less1964) and more likely to be seen as helpful to others in likely to devote time and energy to their relationships.sensitivity training groups (Bass & Dunteman, 1963). But no specific experiments have been directed toward Relations or interaction orientation, as measured by systematically trying to raise or lower such leaders con·the ORl, was higher among examinees who, according cerns. Brady and Helmich (1982) found, in a survey ofto various personality inventories, were socially depen· chief executive officers (CEOs) and their boards of di-dent on the group, warm, sociable, and in need for affil· rectors that CEOs were more task oriented than rela-iation (Bass & Dunteman, 1963~ Such orientation also tions oriented if their boards were made up of out-correlated with wanting to be controlled by others, to siders. The reverse was true if the boards werebe close to others, to feceive affection from others, to composed of insiders.include others, and to be included with others (Bass, Relations orientation is to be expected in organiza-1967b). Konovsky (1986) completed analyses of the ex-tent to which supervisors of 484 hospital subordinates See Chapter 35. View slide
  • 476 Leadership and Managementtions, such as the Israeli kibbutzim, communes, or sized teamwork. The leaders of high-performingreligious orders, whose espoused beliefs emphasize pro- groups were also more task oriented than were theviding for members according to their needs. Socioeco- leaders of low·performing groups in that they main·nomic differencies between communities of workers tained high performance standards without being puni-are also likely to be of consequence. Thus. Blood and tive. They were less like.ly than were the leaders of low-Hulin (1967) reported that workers in communities in performing groups to be critical of their groups per-which one would expect adherence to middle-class formance and less likely to exert unreasonable pressurenorms (for example. small suburban communities) for better performance.tended to favor a human relations style of supervision. Cause and effect could not be separated in a study ofIn the same way, strong organizational policies support- 112 engineering employees by Jones, James, and Bruniing either a relations or a task orientati&n (or both) par- (1975). But the results are suggestive of the followersticularly coincide with a top management that provides influence on their leaders orientation and behavior, al-role models for lower management and engenders task, though the reverse possibility is also tenable.~ Jones,relations, or both orientations among the individual James, and Bruni obtained correlations of from .41 tomanagers and supervisors. At the same time, the lead- .5; between employees confidence and trust in theirers orientation is also likely to be affected by those be- supervisors and the extent to which their supervisorslow them. were seen to be high in support, emphasis on goals, facilitation of work, and facilitation of interaction. Subordinates and Their Performance. Earlier chap- Ag..in, as was noted in Chapter 9, Sanford (1951)ters noted that the poor performance of subordinates found, in a survey of Philadelphia residents, that egali-appears to cause much of the observed punitiveness tarians wanted leaders who were warm and generallyof leaders. In the same way, the good performance of supportive, but authoritarians preferred leaders whosubordinates appears to increase leaders tendencies to would serve their special interests. Indirectly, one maybe relations oriented. In a study of routine clerical infer that more relations·oriented leadership would beworkers and their supervisors in a life insurance com- demanded by highly self·oriented followers, by follow-pany. Katz, ~Iaccoby, and Morse (1950) found that su- ers with personal problems, by followers in need of nur-pervisors of high-producing sections were significantly turance, and by followers seeking affection. As shall bemore likely to be employee oriented than production detailed later, the "psychological and job maturity" oforiented. Barrow (1975) showed that increasing the per· ones subordinates dominate the Hersey·Blanchardformance of subordinates in a laboratory setting reo (1977, 1981) prescriptions for determining whethersuited in the leader becoming significantly more sup- leaders should be relations- or task oriented or both inportive. Decreasing the subordinates performance their behavior toward subordinates.caused the leader to become more task oriented. Thisfinding is consistent with Bass, Binder, and Breeds Prior Effectiveness of the Organization. Com-(1967) findings for the performance of a simulated or· monly observed as well as deplored (see. for instance,ganization discussed below. R. Likert, 1977b) is the extent to which human rela· Farris and Lim (1969) showed that if the perform· tions concerns are abandoned when an enterprisesance of groups was good in the past, the groupsleaders profits are seriollsly eroded. In such situations, akin tosubsequently tended to be more relations oriented. a stress response, task orientation is increased at theThe leaders were more sensitive to the needs and feel· expense of relations orientation. Bass, Binder, andings of the members and more trusting and confident Breed (1967) demonstrated this phenomenon in a sim-in the members. They allowed members more freedom ulated budgeting exercise. The concern of decisionand autonomy in their work. Members were encour· makers for the satisfaction and well-being of employeesaged to speak out and were listened to with respect. and the willingness to accept more employee-centeredThe leaders gave recognition for good work, communi· See Kalz, Maccoby, and Morse (1950), whose resulls are menlionedcated clearly, stressed pride in the group, and empha· laler.
  • Task· versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 477solutions to problems in the areas of safety, labor rela- ineffective peers in technical skills, but they weretions, and management development were strongly in- found to excel in their ability to interact effectively andfluenced by whether the company had just finished a in their interest in people. Similarly, Katzen, Barrett,profitable year. MBA students were given one of three Vann, and Hogan (1968) found that executives whosefirms year·end profit.and.loss statements. One firm roles emphasized administrative, rather than technical,showed a net loss of $86,000; another firms statement performance received higher performance ratings fromshowed that moderate profits had been earned. The their superiors.third firm reported large profits. Three-quarters of the Mann and Dent (1954b) studied supervisors whostudents in the profitable circumstances recommended were rated for promotability by higher.level managers.buying safety equipment. Only half the students in the Highly promotable supervisors were described by theirmoderately profitable enterprise and only 25 percent employees as being good at handling people; approach-of those in the firm that lost money in the previous able; willing to go to bat for employees; letting the em-year were willing to spend the required funds to settle ployees know where they stand; pulling for both thea strike quickly. The goals emphasized in the most company and the workers, rather than either alone; orprofitable situation were the welfare, goodwill, and sat- using general, rather than close, supervision. In turn,isfactory operations of employees. The goals stressed the highly promotable supervisors saw their own supe·in the firm that had experienced a loss were meeting riors as being good at handling people, letting the su-competition and raising profits. pervisors know where they stand, and permitting the supervisors the freedom to make decisions. H. H. Meyer (195 I) observed that effective supervi·General Consequences of Relations-Oriented sors regarded others as individuals with motives, feel·and Task-Oriented Leadership ings, and goals of their own and did not avoid interac· tional stress. Similarly, Kay and Meyer (1962), usingThree kinds of evidence are available. First, the extent both questionnaire and observational methods, foundto whidl relations· and task·oriented leaders are seen that higher rated foremen were less production ori-to be more meritorious or less meritorious by others ented and gave general, rather than close, supervision.can be examined. Second, the differential impact of Likewise, Walker, Guest, and Turner (1956) observedthese orientations on the satisfaction of subordinates that effective supervisors established personal relation·can be reviewed. Third, the differential effects of these ships with employees, stuck up for them, and absorbedorientations on the performance of groups can be de- the pressures from higher levels of authority. In thetailed. Care must be maintained about the validity of same way, A. X Turner (1954) reported that workersthe evidence. Consistently, one sees managers who de· regarded as good supervisors those who did not pres·scribe themselves as more both task· and relations ori- sure their subordinates unnecessarily; were fair,ented in leadership style than their subordinates per- friendly, and understanding; and did not tell their sub·ceive them to be (see, for example, Rees & OKarma, ordinates to quit if they did not like the conditions.1980). Among the 17 Americans on the 1963 Mount Ever· est expedition, all of whom were highly task oriented,Evaluations as a Leader those who were most interaction oriented and highestReports published on correlations of evaluations as a on FIRO·B Expressed Inclusion were rated highest inleader and relations or task orientation generally found leadership. As Lester (1965, p. 45) noted:both orientations to be of positive importance. . .. the results pointed to the importance ... of be· Relations Orientation. Shartle (1934) used inter- ing emotionally responsive, affectionate and warm,views and questionnaires in a comparative study of su- inviting in manner, or placing primary value on thepenisors who were rated as either effective or ineffec- emotional give·and·take in face·to·face relations.tive. Effective supervisors did not differ from their The men reacted negatively to emotional constric·
  • 478 Leadership and Management tion, to too much emphasis on method, efficiency, by the social distance between the leader and the fol- Nume productivity, and the imposition of high impersonal lowers, whereas Sample and Wilson (1965) found cohe- live imp standards. siveness to be unrelated to such social distance. But satisfacti the majority of reports from both field studies and labo- Hasting~ However, when interaction·orientation scores are ratory experiments indicated that subordinates satis·high at the expense of task·orientation scores, such as North C faction with their leaders was linked to their leaders of Orgawhen ipsative scoring5 is used, task, rather than interac- relations·oriented attitudes and behavior.tion or relations, orientation is likely to correlate with of the <merit as a leader. and su~ Field Studies. Hoppocks (1935) analysis of the early sociated Task Orientation. Rubenowitz (1962) reported that literature on job satisfaction indicated that workers vation tejob-oriented supervisors were regarded by higher man- tended to feel more satisfied when supervisors under- (1919) c(agement as more effective than person·oriented super- stood their problems aild helped them, when needed. were ffilvisors. Shortly afterward, Kelly (1964) found that the In a survey of more than 10,000 managerial, supervi- employetechnical features of executives behavior outweighed sory, and hourly personnel, Ronan (1970) obtained sim- the leadthe effects of personal style. ilar results, as did Roberts, lliles, and Blankenship When According to Dunteman (1966), task orientation, as (1968). ship of rmeasured by the ORI, correlated with promotability Stagner, Flebbe, and Wood (1952) found that railroad both weratings based on 3 days of assessment of 96 supervisors workers were better satisfied when their supervisors tion of(but correlations were negative among the younger, were good at handling grievances and communicating lalion 0temporary supervisors and the journeymen who were with employees. Likewise, Bose (1955) observed that found tso assessed). For both 66 first·level and 27 second·level workers under employee-centered supervisors had behaviosupervisors, task orientation significantly contributed more pride in their groups than those under work·cen· leadersto their ~igh on·the·job performance ratings by "their tered supervisors. Mann and Hoffman (1960) found grievantsupervisors (Dunteman & Bass, 1963). that in two plants, one automated, the other not, em- In a sUI Many other studies, enumerated in Chapter 28, have ployees were more satisfied with supervisors who were (1955) Ishown that leaders who are concerned about the lask considerate of their feelings, recognized good work, supervi~in situations in which such a concern is relevant are were reasonable in their expectations, and stood up for other h;likely to be evaluated highly by others. Furthermore, their subordinates. tions fothe plethora of studies of the need for achievement 6 Starnpolis (1958) showed that the more employees of supelprovide additional evidence of the positive association rated their supervisor as fair, able to handle people, giv- with suof task orientation and success as a leader. ing of credit, ready to discuss problems, and keeping exampl, employees informed, the less the employees expressed with a I a desire for their company to be unionized. Bass and subordiImpact on Subordiftates Satisfaction Mitchell (1976) reported similar results for professional (1973) ~Several investigations focused on the impact on subor- and scientific workers. Illustrative also is the inability, task·oridinates satisfaction of psychological and social close- to date, of the United Auto Workers, to organize the peopleness or distance, a component of relations orientation. highly relations·oriented, Japanese-owned, automobile orientaThe results were mixed. Julian (1964) found that job plants in the United States (Gladstone, 1989). pled wisatisfaction was higher when there was psychological Wager (1965) found that a supportive style of leader- In acloseness between the leader and the led. However, ship assisted the supervisor in fulfilling and satisfying sllmi(1Blau and Scott (1962) and E. P. Shaw (1965) reported the employees role expectations. In an aircraft faclory, cmplo)that the cohesiveness of the group was strengthened where team leaders devoted much of their time to facil- shipy31 itating the work of their team members and attending under;In ipsative scoring, the task score and relations score sum to a fixed to the team members personal problems, indicators oftotal, say IOU. If the task SCOre is 65. then the relations scorc must rnaintebe 35. dissatisfaction, such as absenteeism and turnover, were c1assifi.!See Chapter 10. lower (Mayo & Lombard, 1944). type (a
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 479 Numerous field studies continue to confirm the posi· or both types (PM). The subordinates of a PM supervi·tive impact of a leaders relations orientation on the sor had a more favorable attitude toward their supervi-satisfaction of subordinates. For example, York and sor than did the subordinates of an !vI·type or P-typeHastings (1985-86) asked 172 employees working in supervisor. Least satisfying supervisors were those who~orth Carolina social services to complete the Survey were pm types. In a bank that had branches in Oki·of Organizations (D. G. Bowers, 1976). At all levels nawa, Misumi and Mannari (1982) surveyed an averageof the assessed maturity of workers, the facilitative of 1,325 subordinates who described th~ir 303 supe-and supportive performance of supervisors was as· riors leadership. The P and M leadership orientationssociated with the subordinates satisfaction and moti· of the supervisors, as well as the subordinates moraleation to work. A review of nursing studies by Maloney (interest in work and satisfaction with supervision)(1979) concluded that people·oriented leaders generally were collected 5 times in 15·month intervals. The suowere more satisfying to their employees. In addition, pervisors were changed in 287 groups but not <in 159employees grievances and turnover were lower when groups. It was found that there was less change in mo-the leaders were seen as relations oriented. rale from interval to interval if the supervisor did not When the socioemotional and task·oriented leader· change. However, the morale of the subordinates roseship of residence hall leaders were measured separately, if the P and M leadership orientation of the supervi·both were linked by :lacDonald (1969) to the satisfac· sors successor was higher than that of the former suotion of students. However, the effects of task orien· pervisor. The previous morale of the subordinates hadtation on subordinates satisfaction have usually been less of an effect on the incoming supervisors leader·found to be somewhat less consistent. Task·relevant ship than vice versa.behavioral measures, which contain element!. of theleaders punitiveness, will generate dissatisfaction, Laboratory EXf1crimcnts. Experiments may providegrievances, and turnover (Schriesheim & Kerr, 1974). additional convincing evidence of the relationship be-In a sun-ey of seeral thousand employees, R. Likert tween a leaders relations orientation and subordinatesiJ955) fuund that job satisfaction decreased asthe satisfaction. As with the field studies, most experi-superviso(s pressure for production increased. On the mental studies concluded that the satisfaction of subor-other hand, it is not uncommon to find positive correIa· dinates was positively associated with the leaders rela·tions for both the task· and relations·oriented behavior tions·oriented behavior. Wischmeier (1955) found thatof supenisors and the satisfaction of their subordinates group·centered, rather than task·centered, discussionswith supervisors. Generally, for nurse supervisors, for resulted in a warm, friendly group atmosphere. T. Gor·example, a strong task orientation that is not coupled don (1955) also found that group·centered discussionwith a high relations orientation results in less satisfied was associated with members sense of belonging, reosubordinates (Maloney, 1979). Gruenfeld and Kassum spect for others, ability to listen to and understand oth·(1973) showed that nurses were satisfied with highly ers, and loss of self·defensiveness. Similarly, Thelentask-oriented supen-isGtS, but only if the supervisors and Wl1itehall (1949) and Schwartz and Gekoski (1960)people orientation was high as well. The strong task reported that follower·oriented leadership enhancedorientation of supervisors was dissatisfying when cou· satisfaction. Likewise, Maier and Danielson (1956)pled with a medium or low orientation to people. reported that an employee·oriented solution to a In a massive undertaking of over two decades, Mi· disciplinmy problem produced greater satisfaction insumi (1985) completed studies of over 150,000 Japanese groups of problem solvers than did one that was boundemployees working in banks, post offices, coal mines, by legalistic restrictions.shipyards, transportation, utilities and manufacturing, Heyns (1948) coached one set of leaders to playa pos·under supervisors with different performance (P) and itive, supportive role that emphasized agreement, mu·maintenance (11) orientations. The supervisors were tualliking, and cooperation. Another set of leaders wasclassified as P-type (above Jhe median in Palone), M· coached to playa negative role in which the leaderstype (above the median in M alone), neither type (pm) overtly displayed a misunderstanding of the members
  • 480 Leadership and Managementand made no effort to develop their groups cohesive· performance of their groups determined, to a consider·ness. Although the two styles produced no significant able degree, the task- and relations orientation of thedifference in the Quality of the groups decision or the group leaders.members satisfaction, the groups with positive leaders Impact of Relations-Oriented Leadership on Per-exhibited evidence of greater cohesiveness. W. M. Fox(I954) used scenarios to coach leaders in a similarly pos· formance. Pandey (1976) reported that groups led by relations·oriented leaders generated more ideas thanitive relations approach or a "biased, diplomatic persu· did those led by task·oriented leaders. Katz, Maccoby,asive" role. Croups with positively supportive leaders and Morse (1950) and Roberts, Miles, and Blankenshipexhibited higher degrees of cohesiveness and mem- (1968) found that the performance of groups wasbers satisfaction but were slower in solving problems. higher under an employee·oriented style than under aWith a different group of participants, W. M. Fox more disinterested style of supervision. Philipsen(1957) also found that supportive leadership was associ· (1965a, 1965b) also found that human relations leader-ated with the members satisfaction and the groups co· ship correlated positively with group effectiveness. Buthesiveness. in a study of skilled tradesmen, Wison, Beem, and Comrey (1953) established that supervisors of both high· and low·performing shops were described asImpact on the Groups more helpful, sympathetic, consistent, and self·reliantand Members Performance than were those in medium-performing shops.It may be difficult to separate the impact of the leaders Abdel-Halim (1982) showed how much of the memoorientation on the members satisfaction from its im· bers role conflict and role ambiguity that affected theirpact on the members and the groups effectiveness. intrinsic satisfaction with, involvement in, and anxietyTo illustrate, Medalia and Miller (1955) observed that about their jobs was moderated by the support theyhuman relations leadership and employ~es satisfaction received from their supervisor. In the previously citedinteract to influence the groups effectiveness. And al· report by Konovsky (1986), supervisors who werethough both a relations orientation and a task orienta· judged by their 484 subordinates as helpful and emo-tion are generally found to be positively associated with tionally supportive contributed to the subordinatesthe groups productivity, attainment of goals, and fol· commitment to their hospital organization and to thelowers performance, thereare exceptions, as are noted supervisors judged interpersonal effectiveness. In thelater, which points to the possible need for a contino same way, Riegel (1955) found that employees interestgent approach. Some situations may call for more rela- in their companys success increased when their super·tions-oriented leadership and others for more task·ori· visor was seen to help them with their difficulties, toented I~dership; however it may be that in a vast give necessary training and explanations, and to "takemajority of circumstances, strong doses of both types an interest in us and our ideas."of leadership orientation are optimal. Indik, Georgopoulos, and Seashore (1961) studied When positive associations are found, it is usually in· the employees of a transportation company. Their reoferred that the relations orientation or task orientation suIts indicated that high levels of group performanceof the leader resulted in the improved performance of were associated with satisfaction with the supervisorssubordinates. But the reverse may be equally true. Few supportiveness, open communication, mutual under·of the findings have been causal. The previous per- standing, and autonomy of the workers on the job. Asformance of subordinates is as likely to affect the orien· observed in Chapter 21, R. Likert (196Ia, 1967, 1977b)tation of the leader as the leaders orientation is Iikelv concluded, from many surveys, that supportive atti-to influence the subsequent performance of the subor· tudes toward employees, combined with the groupsdinates (Bass, 1965c). Farris and Lim (1969), as was previ· loyalty toward management, were associated with in-ously mentioned, showed that the past good or poor creased productivity and a desire for responsibility by
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 481the employees. With the introduction of a human rela· Likert (1977a) reported strong associations with the ex-tions approach to management, as well as high per- tent to which supervisors facilitated the work by help-formance goals, long·term gains in productivity were ing with advanced scheduling and offering new ideasachieved. Similarly, Daley (1986) surveyed 340 employ- to solve problems in the job and the extent to whichees of Iowa public agencies and obtained uniformly airplanes that were serviced by the groups were not in·positive associations between their perceptions of rela· volved in accidents and disasters because of opera-tions-oriented, humanistic management practices and tional failures.the employees evaluations of the effec~iveness and reo Effects ofa Combined Task- and Relations Orienta·sponsiveness of their organizations to the public. tion. Considerable theoretical and empirical support Supportive leadership increases the likelihood that has been amassed for the idea that regardless of cir-organizations can police and correct themselves. Near cumstances, the effectiveness of leadership is greatestand ~Iiceli (1986) found that the felt support from their when the leaders are both task oriented and relationsleaders was the most important factor in protecting oriented in attitudes and behavior. Thus, Patchenemployees from retaliation for calling attention to ob- (1962) reported that the leader who maintained high·served wrongdoing. Conversely, the perceived Iikeli· performance norms, encouraged efficiency, and at·hood of suffering retaliation for whistle-blowing about tempted to obtain rewards for followers was likely toobserved wrongdoings was perceived by a random sam· have a high·performing group. However, the mainte-pIe of 8600 federal employees to correlate with the lack nance of high performance standards alone and at-of support from their supervisors and the higher mana- tempting to obtain rewards for followers alone eachgement.These perceptions were realistic. Honest whis· had a negative effect on productivity. Both patterns oftle·blowers wer~ actually more likely to get punished behavior had to be combined to have a positive impactthan were their corrupt senior managers in Samuel on productivity. Pierces Housing and Urban Development Administra-tion Of.I 9R I to 1988 (as of late 19R9). . Numerous other studies and lines of investigation have supported the utility of a combined high task· and Impact of Taslt·Oriented Leadership on Perform- relations·oriented approach to leadership. Thus, Tjos·ance. R. Likert (1955) reported that a survey of several void (1984b) demonstrated, in an experiment with 56thousand workers indicated a tendency for productiv- college students, that the students were most produc·ity to be higher in the presence of higher pressure by tive in completing a subsequent task if they had experi·supen·isors for production. Similarly, Litwin (1968) enced beforehand a leader who nonverbally conveyednoted that experimental groups whose leaders had a warmth and who was directive about what was to bestrong need for achievement were much more produc- done. The experience of the warm leader, along withtive than were those whose leaders had a great need for the absence of direction, was satisfying but the leastaffiliation or power. Qunteman and Bass (1963) studied conducive to subsequent productivity. Similarly, Kli-foremen who had an interaction orientation or a task moski and Hayes (1980) found that the effort, perform·orientation. Groups who worked under task-oriented ance, and satisfaction of 241 assistants in the produc·leaders were more productive than were those under tion department of a large information·processing firminteraction-priented leaders. Likewise, Mann, Indik, was enhanced if the supervising editors were task cen·and Vroom (1963) showed that the productivity of tered in being explicit in their expectations and consist-workers was associated with the supervisors task orien- ent in their demands, as well as supportive of their em-tation. R. Cooper (1966) also demonstrated that first- ployees. In the same way, Daniel (1985) found thatlevel supervisors, whose bosses judged them to be subordinates perceived that they were working in ahigher in "task relevance" tended to have more pro· more productive organization if their managers wereductive and more task·motivated subordinates. concerned both about tasks and about people. For 14 U.S. Navy airplane-maintenance groups, R. Hall and Donnell (1979) completed a survey study
  • 482 Leadership and Managementof 2,024 subordinates who described their managers Misumi (1985) and Misumi and Peterson (1985) con-attention to the demands of the task and concern for sistently found, in the previously mentioned surveysthe quality of manager-subordinate relationships. The and experiments of 150,000 Japanese employees inmanagers who vere high in both earned high career· business and industry, greater productivity by employ-achievement quotients. (The quotient reflected the ees under PM than under pm supervision, that is, un-speed with which they had climbed their organiza- der managers who were abo~e rather than below thetionalladder.) They were also the most collaborative in median in both performance orientation and mainte·their leadership style. These results were consistent nance orientation.with Blake and Moutons (1964) and J. Halls (1976) In one of these sfudies, P and M were systematicallyfindings for large samples. The moderately successful manipulated for coordinated first-level and second·managers had a low relations orientation but a high level supervision in an experiment with 15 postaltask orientation, while those whose career success was trainees working in trios. The PM·type first·level super-lowest were low in both a task· and a relations orienta- vision generated more productivity than did either Ption. or Malone. Second·level supervision, present only in Erez and Kanfer (1983) argued that the relations ori· the form of written instructions to the subjects fromentation implied in allowing subjects to participate in the second level, had the same effects. although withgoal setting enhanced the task-oriented impetus for less statistical significance. For 215 of 500 groups ofmore goal setting than did assigning goals to subjects coal miners. when the second-level supervisor was ac·wit....out pcrmitting them to participate in ,ctting the !ually present, the PM pattern in both the first and sec·goals. Erez, Earley, and Hulin (1985) obtained experi· ond levels of supervision was most typical for the high-mental evidence to show that such participation in· producing groups. For 186 working groups of about 10creased acceptance of the goals and hence increased employees each, involving a total of 2,257 workers in a productivity, although Erez (1986) found that the orga- Mitsubishi shipyard, evaluations of group meetingsnizational culture from which the participants were were most positive under PM-type leaders (evaluationdrawn affected the need for such participation. Sub· mean = 17.5). followed by M-type (mean = 16.4), p. jects from the Israeli private sector did better with as· type (mean = 153), and pm-type (mean = 14.5)signed goals; subjects from the kibbutz sector did bet· leaders.ter with group participation in setting goals. The rated performance of 92 squads in a bearing As described earlier in discussing the utility of partic- manufacturing firm was most often high if the squadsipation, Locke, Latham, and Erezs (1987) critical ex- were under PM leadership and least often if under pmperiment tried to understand why, in their respective leadership. The results for ratings above the medianinvestigative efforts and using the same standardized, for P alone or above the median for M alone were inexperiment.!!1 conditions, assigning goals to subjects, between. The same pattern emerged in a tire manufac-generated more productivity in the United States (La- turing firm, where. again, the success or failure rate oftham & Steele, 1983), while allowing the subjects to 8B9 project managers was strongly associated with theirparticipate in goal setting generated more productivity PM, P, M, or pm style of leadership, as shown in Tablein Israel (Erez & Arad, 1986). The one difference be- 23.1. The success rate was clearly highest (52 percent)tween the U.S. and Israeli situations that turned out to and the failure rate was clearly lowest (5 percent) withaccount for the highly significant difference in produc· the combined PM style.tivit} was that the Israeli experimenter was curt andunsupportive in giving instructions, but the U.S. ex-perimenter was friendly and supportive. The friendly, Negative Evidence. A number of exceptions to thesupportive experimenters instructions facilitated the positive effects of task or relations orientation on pro-subjects accepTance of the assigned goal without their ductivity have been reported, particularly in short·participating in setting the goals. range analyses. With reference to innovation, Andrews
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 483Table 23.1 Relation of Types of Leadership to the Success or Failure of 889 Japanese~Ianagers of Engineering Projects Percentage· Number of Type Cases Success FailureAbo·e the median on both performance (P) and maintenance (M) 271 52 5 orientations.bove the median on Palone 192 26 17Abo·e the median on Malone 200 16 30Below the median on both P and M 220 6 47SOlRCE: Adapted from Misumi (198f, p. 89).and Farris (1967) found no evidence that innovation dren performed equally well under "cold" or "warm"was higher when supervisors of scientific personnel leadership.were high in both task and human relations functions.Human relations skills had little moderating effect onthe generally positive relationships between the lead- Blake and Moutons Grid Theory®ers carrying out task functions and innovation. Themost innovation occurred under supervisors who were Blake and Mouton (1964) are the best·known modelneither high nor low in their attention to human rela- builders who prescribe the integration of both task· andtions, regardless of the task functions that were com· relations orientations as the one best way to achievepletetl. effective leadership. Their managerial grid (see Figure Lunclquists (1957) results indicated that regardless 23.1) is based on the concept tnat managers and leadersoi whether supervisors were worker oriented, the sheer vary from I to 9 in their concern for people (the verticalfrequency of their interaction with workers increased axis of the grid) and from 1 to 9 in their concern fortheir effectiveness. Weitz and Nuckols (1953) found production (the horizontal axis). The measurement ofthat supervisors scores on a test measuring human reo these concerns is based on a managers endorsementlations orientation were not related to the productivity of statements ·about management assumptions and be-of the group or the turnover of personnel. MacKinney, liefs. But these concerns are interactive rather than in-Kavanagh, Wolins, and Rapparlie (1970) found that dependent. They are manifested in the five stylesboth production-oriented and employee-oriented man- shown on the grid:agement were unrelated to the satisfaction of employ- . ~ 9,1: Authority-Obedience Management. The lead-ees. Carp, Vltola, and McLanathan (1963) showed thatsupervisors of effective postal teams maintained their ers maximum concern for production (9) issocial distance from subordinates, an attitude that reo combined with a minimum concern for peopleduced the surfacing of emotional problems. (I). "Dictating to subordinates what they In a study of simulated management groups, Kaczka should do and how they should do it, the leaderand Kirk (1967) established that the profitability of concentrates on maximizing production."teams was associated with relations-oriented leader- 1,9: "Country Club" Management. The leadership. But this type of leadership also resulted in less shows a minimum concern for production (I)pressure to accomplish tasks and less cohesiveness in but a maximum concern for people (9). "Eventhe groups. Finally, C. A. Dawson (1969), studying the at the expense of achieving results, fosteringachievement of schoolchildren, observed that the chil- good feelings gets primary attention."
  • 484 Leadership and ManagementFigure 23.1. The Managerial Grid-High 9 I I J,9 I Country Club Management I 1 9 ,9 1 Team Management I - Thoughtful attention to needs Work accomplishment is from - of people for satisfying relationships committed people; interdependence 8 leads to a comfortable, I through a "common - - friendly organization atmosphere I stake" in organization purpose _ and work tempo. leads to relationships of trust 7 and respect. 6 5,5~ Organization Man Management~ ~ Adequate organization performance-" S is possible throul!h balancing ;- the necessity to get out ~ work with maintaining moralej 4 of people at a satisfactory level. 1,1 9,1 Impoverished Management Authority·Obedience E;<ertion of minimum efiort to Effici-.:ncy in operations results z .- ::fl:~:~:fb;T";~;Or - get required work done is from arranging conditions of work in such a way that human _ I elements interfere to a minimu, degree. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Low Concern for Production HighSOLRCE: The Managtria/ Grid fIgUre from The Managerial Grid III: The Key 10 Leadership Excellence, byRobert R. lllake and Jane Sryg/ey Mouton (Houston: Gulf Publishing Compan~), Copyright © J985, p. IZ.Reproduced by permission. I,l: Impoverished Management. The leader has a concerns of production and people and the minimum concern for both production and two are kept in logic·tight compartments. Pa· people and puts forth only the least effort reo ternalism occurs, for example, when the leader q1:iired to remain in the organization. expresses a strong concern for the well-being 5,5: "Organization Man" Management. The leader of followers but does not consider their contri· goes along to get along, which results in con· butions to productivity, although he or she has formity to the status quo. an equally strong concern for production 9,9: Team JJanagement. The leader integrates the (Blake and Mouton, 1964, p. 10, in paraphase). concern for production and the concern for They care as fathers (or mothers) for depen- people at a high level; is goal centered; and dent subordinates from whom they expect un· seeks results through the participation, in· conditional loyalty. volvement, and commitment of all those who can contribute. This style can take the form of Opportunistic leaders use several styles interchange· paternalism if the leader fails to integrate the ably, depending on the persons with whom they are
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 485dealing. Sometimes leaders masquerade as 9,9s when style of team-management orientation characterizedthey really are paternalists or opportunists hiding be· the leadership of the twentieth century U.S. presidentshind facades. who had performed with greatness, in contrast to those The leaders dominant style is likely to be backed up who had not. This style was inferred from contempo-by other styles. Thus, for instance, the 1.9 leader may rary writings about the presidents different ways of de-begin a meeting in a casual, friendly way but quickly cision making, exercising initiatives; analyzing prob-become the tough. no-nonsense, 9,1, which is his or her lems. taking advocacy roles, dealing with conflictsdominant style (Blake & ~Iouton, 1985c). between themselves and their subordinates, and lIsing Team leadership (9.9) is what is prescribed. It is at- critiques to increase their effectiveness in achieving re-tained by behavioral science principles that involve sults with and through subordinates.participation, openness, trust and respect. involvementand commitmf..,.t, open confrontation to resolve con-flicts. consenSllS, the synergistic utilization of the hu- Situational Contingenciesman resources represented by the leader and followers, Affecting Outcomesmutually determined management by objectives, mu-tual support, and change and development through Blake and ~Iouton did not leave much room for excep-feedback (Blake & Mouton, 198Ia). tions. Nevertheless, a substantial number of investiga- .ccording to a stUdy reported by Blake and ~Iouton tions of the impact of task- and relations orientation(11)S~c), prior tC a seminar, 68 percent of the managers have been mixed or negative. Explanations for suchsaw themselves as 9,9; 10 percent. as 9,1; 19 percent, findings have heen sought in situational contingencies.as ;,5; and 2-3 perccnt, as 1,9 or 1,1. After a scminar These situational contingencies need to be examinedon the subject, a modal 41 percent admitted to being for their modcrating effects on the impact of relations- ;.; amI another 36 percent saw themselves as 9,1. Only imd task·oriented leadership ·on the satisfaction and 16 pe(cent now believed they were 9,9. Blake and ~I()u· productivity of followers. For instance, Miner (1982a, ton thought that these changes in results were indica- 1982h) suggested that the high-task-high·relations lead- tie of the self-deception that occurs if understanding ership orientation is most likely to be effective whenis impaired and feedback is not provided. organizations arc a mix of systems of hierarchies and :kcording to Blake and ~Iouton (1978), a 9,9 orienta· groups. The task orientation fits the hierarchies: the tion has consistently proved to contribute positively to relations orientation fits the groups.a ariety of performance criteria in organizational dc- An illustration of a moderated result was the upward- clopment studies. In one of these studies, two influence tactics used by suhordinates who were sub- matched subsidiaries of the same company were in- jected to task- or people·centered leadership, according DIved in a pre-post comparison over a ten-year.period. ~ to Delugas (1987b) study of 48 faculty members in aOne subsidiary engaged in an extensive organizational school of higher education. Deluga found that in thedevelopment progmm that stressed 9,9 management; faculty members first attempt to influence their supe- the other was not involved in any compmable program. riors, only the sllperiors relations orientation WclS ofThe experimental subsidiary increased its profitability consequence. The faculty members said they were lessby 400 percent over the matched control. likely to bargain or appeal to a higher authority if their In a study of 716 managers from a single firm, Blake superiors were more people centered. But if they failedand ~Iouton (1964) found that 9.9-oriented managers to influence their superiors in their first attempt. in(after correcting for age differences) were more likely their second attempt. it WilS the task orientation of the than were those with other dominant styles to advance leaders that WclS important. Here, the faculty members further in their careers. J. Hall (1976) replicated these said they would be more likely to try friendliness, bar- findings with an independent sample for 731 managers gaining, assertiveness, appeals to a higher authority, from a variety of companies. and forming coalitions, the more they thought their su- Blake and ~Iouton (1985b) determined that the 9,9 perior was task centered.
  • 486 Leadership and Management The Subordinate as a Moderator (1971) also studied the effects of leadership style on the performance of students who had a high or low need Although relations·oriented leadership was expected to to achieve. Achievement·oriented students performed generate more satisfaction among subordinates, mod· best under a leader who was high in both a P orienta. crating effects were seen in a number of investigations. tion and an M orientation. In groups whose members In a study of community hospitals, F. C. Mann (1965) had a low need to achieve, the performance was best observed that the satisfaction of the nurses was related under a P·type leader. to the human relations skills of their supervisors, but the satisfaction of the nursing supervisors was related Constraints and Goals as Moderators to the administrative skills of their superiors. At the Several studies obtained results suggesting that the same time, the satisfaction of the hospital technicians style of supervision interacted with situational vari· was related to their supervisors technical and human abies to influence productivity and satisfaction with relations skills. T.1nnenbaum and Allport (1956) studied the job. For example, Lundquist (1957) reported that two departments of women workers. One department foremen who arc worker oriented produce better reo was given more responsibility and authority for work suits in small than in large groups. In an Indian study of and for decisions about the work and one department officers in central government departments, Srivastava emphasized top·down line authority. A personality test and Kumar (1984) demonstrated that high task and was administered initially and scored as to the suitabil· high relationship styles of leadership both contributed ity of the workers personality to the situation in which to the effectiveness and adaptability of the middle- they worked. One year later, an attitude test was ad· level officers; however, they did not do so for the jun- mini~tered. The results of the test revealed that signifi- ior·level officers. :-.Jealey and Blood (1968) showed that cantly more suited than unsuited workers in the situa· among nurses in a Veterans Administration hospital, tion with more authority and responsibility wanted the task·oriented first-level supervisors received higher per· situation to continue, but suited and unsuited workers formance.appraisals, but it was the people·oriented sec· did not differ in their attitudes toward the program if ond·level supervisors who received such higher per· they had not been given authority and responsibility. formance appraisals. Although the subordinates job In another large·scale field study, Seashore (1954) satisfaction was correlated significantly at both levels found that supportive leadership with cohesive work with the supervisors people orientation, task orienta· groups paid off in higher productivity. However, the tion contributed to the nurses job satisfaction at the same group cohesiveness also resulted in lower produc· first but not at the second level of supervision. tivity when the groups supervisors were unsupportive. The followers need for achievement was seen by a Tile Task as a Moderator number of investigators to make a difference in the way the followers reacted to particular styles of leader· V. W. Burke (1965) found that a groups performance....ship. W. W. Burke (1965) discovered that followers with of a coding task was completed more effectively under a high need to achieve who were led by socially close a production-oriented leader, but the completion of a leaders rated their situation as more tense than did decision task was carried out more effectively under a those with a high need to achieve who were under so· relations-oriented leader. Weed, Mitchell, and Moffitt cially distant leaders. At the same time, followers with (1976), among others, found that it was necessary to a low need to achieve who were led by socially close take the tasks into account to uncover the moderating leaders rated their situation as more tense than did fol· of the linkage between a leaders relations orientation lowers with a high need to achieve who were led by and the subordinates satisfaction as a consequence of socially distant leaders. Followers with a high need to the subordinates personality and orientation. Overall, achieve rated socially close leaders high in authoritar· they studied the effects of task· versus relations orien· ianism. while those with a low need to achieve did the tation on a groups performance and satisfaction with same for socially distant leaders. Misumi and Seki supervision as a function of the subordinates person-
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 487ality and orientation. They compared leaders who able and unfavorable relations ceased at the end ofscored high in human relations orientation and high in three weeks, when minor changes in work were insti-task orientation, low in human relations orientation tuted. Table 23.2 shows the percentage of assembledand low in task orientation, low in human relations ori- units requiring repair during each phase of the experi-entation and high in task orientation, an.d high in hu- ment. When the employees continued to work on oldman relations orientation and low in task orientation. and familiar tasks, the unfavorable supervision hadEach leader worked with subordinates who were high only slight effects on their performance. But when aor low in dogmatism. Subordinates varied in their task- changeover occurred that required work on new, unfa-and relations orientations, as well. Regardless of their miliar tasks, the repair rates of the unfavored grouppersonality and orientations, the subordinates were sig- jumped much higher than did those of the favorednificantly more satisfied with leadership behavior that group. Equally important, although the favored groupwas high in human relations orientation. But Weed, rapidly returned to its normal repair record by the endMitchell, and Moffitt had also varied the ambiguity and of the third week after the changeover, the unfavoreddifficulty of the tasks. The interacting effects of the group continued to exhibit arepair rate that was threeleadership style-relations: or task oriented-and the times worse than what had been its normal record be-subordinates relations· or task orientation were strong- fore the onset of the unfavorable supervisory relations.est on difficult and ambiguous rather than clear" and Unlike the results of surveys, this experiment demon-easy tasks. That is, the compatibility of the leaders and strated that unfavorable supervisory human relationsfollowers personality made a difference only if the task cause decrements in performance primarily when newwas difficult and ambiguous. learning is required, not when accustomed tasks are Wofford (1971) obtained results indicating that are· performed.lations·orient~d manager is likely to be more effectivein terms of the productivity and morale of the group Management Functions as Moderatorsled in Simple, centralized, structured operations.Schachter, Festinger, Willerman, and Hyman (1961) Woodward (1958) reported that friendly supervisorsgenerated somewhat different and more convincing were rated as relatively more effective in service de-evidence in an experiment with work groups who were partments but relatively less effective in production de-matched in age, productivity, seniority, and disciplinary partments. Consistent with this finding, B. Schneiderrecords. For three weeks, managers were friendly and (1973) noted that in social service agencies, supervisorshelpful to the favored group which they praised; they set examples of how they expected their subordinateswere threatening, reproving, and deliberately annoying to relate to clients of the agencies. Satisfied clients co-in their demands on the unfavored group. The favor· incided with the occurrence of friendly, concerned, suo ~Table 73.2 Quality of Work before and after the Changeover of Work Groups that WereSubjected to Favored and Unfavored Supervisory Treatment Percentage of Assembled Vnits Requiring Repair Phase of the Experiment Favored Croup Vnfavored CroupDuring the first week of contrived disturbance 10.6 11.8During the second two weeks of contrived disturbance 11.7 14.7The first week after the changeover 2.l 31.4The second week after the changeover 13.8 28.0The third and fourth weeks mter the changeover 11.6 29.0SOURCE: Schachter. Willerman. Fcslingcr. and Hyman (1961. p. 206).
  • 488 Leadership and Management pervisory relations with subordinates. Schneider also but has received little research support; the Fiedler found that good customer relations with a bank reo contingency model has been more widely researched.fleeted the good relations of the bank tellers with their than applied. Both models remain highly controversial. superiors. Relations·oriented supervision thus would seem to be particularly indicated in service operations. The Hersey-Blanchard The manager and the coach of English football Situational Leadership Model teams differ greatly in function. The manager has little continuous contact with the players, while the coach Basis maintains a high degree of contact. Cooper and Payne (1967) found a correlation of .72 between the task ori· The Hersey and Blanchard (1969a) situational leader- entation of the team coach and the success of the ship model was built on propositions that were based teams in winning games, but the same correlation was ·on Hersey and Blanchards understanding of prior em-close to zero for managers. pirical research. These propositions "ere as follows: 1. Leadership styles vary considerably from leader toInterrelations with Other Leadership Behaviors leader (Stogdill & Coons, 1957).as Moderators 2. Some leaders behavior primarily involves initiat·The effects of other types of behavior by the leader ing structure to accomplish tasks, other leadersmoderate the impact of the leaders task· or relations behave to build and maintain good personal rela-orientation. Thus, Larkin (1975) showed that clemen· tionships, and still others do both or do neithertary school teachers who were task oriented in their (Halpin, 1956a).behavior created high morale among pupils, regardless 3. The most effective behavioral style of leaders isof how much they also resorted to power. But teachers one that varies with the situation (Fiedler, 1967a;whose task·oriented behavior was low and who used Korman, 1~66).power did generale rebellious pupils. Among supervi· 4. The best attitudinal style is a high task· and a highsors of technical personnel, participative approaches relations orientation (Blake & Mouton, 1964).(the provision of freedom) resulted in the most innova· 5. The job and psychological maturity of the follow·tion if the supervisors were low in a task· or a human ers is most crucial in determining which behav·relations orientation (Andrews & Farris, 1967). In an ioral style of leaders will result in the most effec·experiment with small groups of ROTC students, An· tiveness (Argyris, 1962).derson and Fiedler (1964) found that those under task· 6. llalurity relates to the stage in a groups life cycleoriented leaders were most productive and satisfied or to the previous education and training of thewhen the leaders were participative, but the satisfac· followers.tion Qf students was greater when relations·orientedleaders were directive. Similarly, Pandey (1976) showed Prescriptionsthat the behavior and effectiveness of relations· andtask·oriented leaders of discussion groups depended on According to Hersey and Blanchard (1969a, 1969b,whether the leaders were appointed, elected, or roo 1982a) a manager should be task oriented and tell ortated, since the elected and rotated leaders tended to sell subordinates on what to do or a manager shouldbe more participative than did the appointed leaders. be relations oriented and participate; with subor- A number of models of situational or contingent dinates in joint decision making or delegate the deci-leadership have been constructed to provide advice toleaders on when they should be task oriented and .-s defined in the last chapter, pdrlicipation (italicized) rerers only tohence directive and when they should be relations ori· sharing in the decision process. Participation (romanized) includes con· sulting. sharing. and delegating. D,rection (italicized) refers only to giv.ented ana hence participative. The Hersey·B1anchard ing orders with or without explanation. Direction (romanized) indudessituational leadership model has been widely applied ordering. persuading (selling). and manipulating.
  • lask- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 489sion to them depending on the subordinates task·rele· for it best matches the requirements of the particularvant maturity-their job maturity (capacity, ability, situation according to the model. The next best answereducation, and experience) and their psychological ma- is A, to be participative, and is scored + 1 for flexibility.turity (motivation, self·esteem, confidence, and willing- It is a moderately adaptive leadership response, low inness to do a good job). The maturity levels manifest task orientation and high in relations orientation. Thethemselves in the subordinates performance of their next best answer, D, to be persuasive, isscored -1 forjobs. Newly appointed inexperienced employees on a flexibility; it is a response that is high in task· and highjob seek task-oriented direction from their superiors; in relations orientation. Finally, the worst and least flex·they should be told what to do. As their "life cycle" on ible answer is B, a highly directive, high task-low rela-the job continues and their experience increases, they tions response; it is scored - 2 for flexibility.have to be sold to continue their performance. Later, Subordinates and colleagues can also complete therelations orientation and participation become most ef· form, indicating what they believe the focal managerficacious with the subordinates further development, would do; their responses can provide useful feedbackto engage both their knowledge and their maturation. to the focal leader (Hersey & Blanchard, 1981).Finally, fully mature subordinates work best when the A curvilinear relationship between a leaders task-leaders delegate what needs to be done. The most ef- and relations orientation and the subordinates matu·fective leadership is conceived to depend on whether rity was postulated by Hersey and Blanchard (1977) asthe leaders task·oriented or relations·oriented behav· displayed in Figure 23.3. Unwilling and unable subordi·ior matches the subordinates maturity. nates should be told what to do; willing but unable sub· LASlor LEAD. The Leader Adaptability and Style ordinates should be sold; unwilling but able subordi· nates should participate; and willing and able subordi·Imentory (L:SI)-Iater renamed the Leadership Ef· nates should be delegated assignments.fectiveness and Adaptability Description (LEAD)-prOidlS brief vignettes (Hersey & Blanchard, 1974) of Subordinates Maturity12 situations, each with 4 alternatives, as shown in Fig·ure 23.2. Maturity is seen at four levels. Each level involves a For example, in situation 4, you supervise a group different combination of attention to relations and taskwith a fine rccord of accomplishment whose members as in table below.respect the need for change. You indicate from among Positive Evidencefour choices what supervisory action you would take todeal with the problem. One alternative, under answer Despite problems with the model, some supportive em·C, is to delegate by allowing the group to work out the pirical evidence has emerged for it along with contrarysolution itself. This delegation is leadership behavior findings. Hersey, Angelini, and Carakushansky (1982)that is low in task orieQ!ation and low in relations orien· obtained support for the model as an approach to im·tation. The response adds 2 points to your self·rated prove learning. The participants in their study were 60delegation score. It also adds to your flexibility score, managers who attended a management training semi· Leaders Behl1ior Should Be Oriented TOIIl1rd Subordinates I.eId Prescribed Leadership of ,Ia/uri/r Rell1/iolls Task Behl1;or I. Unable-unwilling Low High Telling 2. Unable-jlling High High Selling 3. :ble·unwilling High Low Participating -I. :ble·willing I,ow Low Delegating
  • 490 Leadership and Management Figure 23.3. H li:lul wbord:in.dn Art not cnpoOOlIIL.tcl,; . l-:mph,ut« 1M usc of umrorm pmc:ttJulC" And Leader Style an k)(Il,lIl,it~ RI.nt...tK......ntI obo.,,~1 the- nn«tJt,. rCft.aU.ac.,,,,,,,pfu.h.mmt. ,(lIl1(fln tor Ihrit ~f4lfC TMu prrf...-nu.ntt Il. ~U1t ,.uurwU ..".,.bblr h. dtKU1.~ but nt:l.atJ:Jh.piA. don11",h C. T.aI~.lth~u:wn~ndrhmK"tlPuk. O.lnttntionaUydonotinlrnC1W. llttuhw-,,-..bk ~d(Jtm""(ifof ".ur cn!Up., A. ["""~ in frifndly ;ntmadion. but conhnut Co llM.h.".IUnc. au h,,~ ~tn m..l.inl "lfe" lIul mdC sun th.at ;1)1 mcmbc-r••C~ ",... . rr of their J.lInJCmbcfS.C1~ ...."Cd Ihr" roln;lntl rolt <lnd fot.lllcl.l.ds. II.ln..W.... 8. ToI.to nudCfinitt ..ction. C. Iln_tut }uuc-.mtorm1ltthtcruup f("Clirnpor. l.tnIAtltlln.... N. O. Emptuut Ihr 1mpor1<t1lC.C 01 ,~.-ntnn ,md I,,.h kmtCulil )U1.U IrouP ,1ft UnAhie Iu IlIb" .. .. In..... clhC pnup .. nd t~thotfcftl.l&c ,nprof> pu.hltm IlwmUt.n. lOu N" nlMt1... n~ kfl ieill wAune rhtm .&lOIlC. 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I", I h•.- (s..up .. elll ~lJlI,t. .....L ·Iru·lh.al i~ f.1f t .... ~·J, .... tn nuLIlu;r..• II lllIf,IoIf.lh- (fHtlp n:,.,mlnn1l.Lth••",. hut ~t the task·o 1"lI(.h,,1 R"I.1.lInll1lItL:. 111.. d~n~,: I""· ,,","up ,. Rlllt.k-.n .,n If ••".Ik .It,,1.. Lmu....1 t: Ilu ........,tIH.oet..·UlII:1 It~.. kruw ~ I .... "d .111"1 i-..c: l.udulh the end ,("1"hlft h." , poH" I i1lll ........ 111).( l~I" 1) I~"", 1.:"11 In alwm,·", ",,:llme ~1"lh.I"ll htlrKclmluJl c.-ltt,,,m~. t""·I,Ii.otlh Ihc II....·IIu.. h lit group leal 1,",I.("~t.lk·t1lk"("t,,,: I"hdl) group. 10 ,ttU 4lb.."cbn.dr". LUI,; .::. .. hie.. tnl..LC rt PllI~hJJ.h.•I.ftn.JIf",;"",,"Jtn,r"l"I1t· 11 ~, .."p Ir.... ohlf1Cnr III ,....../nulC d"fkl- olf.t llul"Ioon·If1,Nt Jacobsc Uflt ttk-f"l,unC"" t.t.. n.~ u.h l L H."I.,fllk· t,uloL.nh.,1.I",1 Up"·..... l4" ..... e/nlh. I"..nfr..lIl~I ....n M no ....rplHItI~U.r,· leagues 01 11 1 Ihoel dpIUI(- .. wup n""Imul(,"lI"II,..I,ul ",. · It("i .. t.II~l.tn"" .. n" ",,1 managers II "lilt ~l( lJ«-n pnllf1oo·(·.IIU .. "", p"1illllJn . 1".1(, t,I) In ~Iifl,,-t -llhmtlll1.. I~· tU""Ut "tilL the mana The p4(" iol" Hp"" I"" ~.h tulilhOkCcllP thi,·.If/.rin.uflhc CIlJli) 111.1£ ~,,",ph.n; ..d,,· n 111& 1Il.llf,n ,,!dillC" m.Unlet. Inlll"" IlllJ1Htlin;lrl.~tnd,,·uMIIlnMlin,.and anee erite ,(IlIIUOU ~1 ....1(tlIlinbutilllll. cluld,. tLtndk1 I." 1"1" "lUI c.Ju""lkW CtlUp inttlutlti.tn. ,0" c, ....t Call"""" p.hf pcd.~m.u(, ..• " Ilh croup ..".1 then ordinates "J1 ("unUnt: t""nn-d I"" not" pt.A.l .... iC... Figure 23.2. The LASI Questionnaire crs beha 11 C.IlI.fllllI&, I.. k.l"e" c;ruup .... I"Ir 12 R.tfltm£omu1I01l.nJ... "Ie" ,uJt< i"tnn.r.1 I" ....I 1 l.o,lut"lC _llh t11._Lln""I(" ... ~1 ,,-... SOURCE: F,om "So }OU Wanl 10 Know You, Leade,ship SI)le," by than oth tLfifCUltin.un.,nc ,ubohhn"I~lht&rUIIp 4mtfW 11K f1nllfufnt"o rntn h,u.I fnTU;ruNc 1T1... "J vi .., (l.>ll,pllhmcnt 1 n.:... cltlUP rn~n I...IfL il ""11 Paul lime) and Kenneth II. Blancha,d in Training and Develop· and man )fc-mhtntu,CC(f«I,rh m"nl...nn,J,nnc .11<C1,"c-h,,", ,,In,,, CUoLk. llJ(} h"lf inlh"l," tu.mon, C {llltli"Uo ;lfld firmly Iu L(M,tel .. n.1 ,tduttt, ment Journal (lune 1981). p. 35. Copyrighl 198/, American Sociely tained pc fm Ihe p.ul (.lI ll.ltt ... c-ll 11I.lIIIieI. fu, tM n :1.IC- luuru·ll"u;lildhk (0 diltlnlion. bUI bI.- fo, T,aining and Dl?lelopmenl, Reprinled wilh pemlission. All rights t.uL. t.ud,,1 uf hurhng bon-uhordin.Jtf rd~Iiol:lI1. LASt ass. ,ese,wd.
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 491Figure: 23.3. Hersey·Blanchard Model or the Relationship between styles and the subordinates ratings of the effectivenessLeader Style and ~Iaturity or Followers of their own workgroups. Hambleton and Gumpert Lc.ulers (1982) found a statistically significant and practical gain Concern with Task in the job performance of 189 subordinates when their Low lIigh 56 supervisors applied the Hersey-Blanchard model correctly. High-performing managers rated higher than low performers on the effectiveness of tneir leadership and the flexibility of their style, both in their self-re- ports and in the appraisals by their subordinates and superiors. They also showed greater knowledge and use of the model of situational leadership. • Kohut (1983) found that the flexibility of 281 women managers, as measured by the LEAD, was related to their effectiveness and sex·role identity. Again, Vec- chio (1987) surveyed 303 teachers from 14 high schoolsSnh""llO"le illing/ unwilling! illingl nnwillingl Sul..",li,...", with the less controversial Leader Behavior Descrip· 1.• lmc Inull"lu,,- tion Questionnaire (LBDQ), to be discussed in Chap- .:-.~~ .Ihk· ahk ",...hle 1Illolhle 4 2 ter 24. Consistent with the Hersey·B1anchard model, Vecchio concluded that recently hired teachcrs, com- I .. . ...... ~:SPlII(E: Frolll Paul Herse!, and Kenneth II. Rlllnehllrd, ~ l;magcmcnt o[Organizational Bchador: Utilizing Human Rcsonrces. 3e, © 1977, p. pared to those with more experil:nce, may need andI~O.. dapled b fXrrrll~ion of Prell/ied/all, Inc.• J::lIgle,rood Cliffs, N(lr appreciate more initiation of structure from their suo -;. ../rnr. pervisors. (. -.nar. Tht:. experimental groups were trained in four (·r Negative Evidencestages; a control group was not. Early on, the instructorengaged in a great deal of direction. The instructor next Consistent with other studies with other instruments,did some selling and then participated with the trainees such as with leaders self·ratings on the LBDQ (Weis-in the learning process. Finally the instructor delegated senberg & Kavanagh, 1972), Haley (1983) found reothe responsibility for learning to the trainees but re- sponse bias, low reliabilities. and lack of correlation be-mained available to support them. Thus, as the matu· tween self· and others LASI ratings of the focalrity of the trainees increased, the instTllctor decreased managers. Narayanan, Vcnkatachalam, and Bharathiarthe task·oriented direction. The final examination at (1982) could find no relation between the LEAD self·the end of training showed that the experimental reports of 30 owners of small Indian hosiery knittinggroup learned signifiQantly more than did the control units and their employees descriptions of the owncrsgroup. styles. Nor could they find any connection with the Jacobsen (1984) found that LASI ratings by col· productivity of the units.leagues of the appropriate flexibility of the style of 338 York and Hastings (1985-86) surveyed 172 employeesmanagers correlated significantly with the progress of in three North Carolina social service departments tothe managers careers, as well as with selected perform. ascertain the effects of the supervisors behavior onance criteria. :lthough the maturity level of their sub· their subordinates performance in the context of theordinates was found to moderate between the manag· subordinates level of maturity. They found that reoerst behavior and effectiveness, it was less important gardless of the level of the subordinates maturity,than other situational variables. For 209 supervisors supervisors supportive and work-facilitation behavior,and managers from 5 organizations, Haley (1983) ob· as measured in the Survcy of Organization contrib·tained positive correlations between the subordinates uted in the Same way to the subordinates perform·LASI assessments of the adaptability of their superiors ance.
  • 492 Leadership and Management Blank, Weitzel, and Green (1987) examined the situ- tioned research by Blank, Weitzel, and Green, the ad·ational leadership performance of 27 directors of resi· visers satisfaction with their supervision correlated.41dence halls (full·time professionals) who were responsi· and .54, respectively, with the task· and relations be-ble for 353 resident advisers (part·time paraprofessional havior of their directors, regardless of the advisers ma-students) in two large midwestern universities. A psy· turity. To this, Hersey and Blanchard (1982b) repliedchological maturity index was developed for the advis- that Blake and Mouton dear with attitudinal models,ers, starting with 40 items about independence, the while they deal with a behavioral model. Conflict onlyability to take responsibility, and the motivation to occurs when behavorial assumptions are drawn fromachieve. Several factor analyses resulted in a refined the analysis of attitudinal models. Blake and Moutonsingle·factor scale of II itcms, such as, "acts conscien- (198Ia, 1981b) countered with other difficulties withtiously on the job," "follows through on job tasks," the Hersey-Blanchard model. They noted the extent to"takes care to do the job right," and "works hard on which task- and relations orientation and behavior tendthe job." Pecr ratings on the items were obtained from to be interdependent, rather than uncorrelated withother advisers to measure the psychological maturity each other. Merely adding high task concerns to highof the advisers (the subordinates of the directors). Satis- relations concerns makes for benevolent paternalism,faction with their work and supervision were obtained not teamwork. Qualitative differences at different endsfrom the advisers, along with ratings of their perform· of the continua in orientation and behavior need to beance by their directors. The psychological maturity of taken into account. Vor example, a high relations orien·the advisers correlated .40 with their directors ratings tation of the kind tbat a~hieves high productivity (9,9)of their job performance. As predicted by the model, is characterized by openness, trust, respect, under-for those low in such psychological maturity work satis- standing, and mutual commitmcnt. A high relationsfaction increased linearly with the task-orientcd, direc· orientation that results in low productivity (1,9) istive. and persuasive behavior of their directors. How· warm, friendly, and harmonious. To demonstrate thisever. work satisfaction was much higher in advisers issue, Biakc and ~Iouton (1981a, 1981b, 1982a) revisedwhose psychological maturity was high, regardless of each of the 12 LEAD situations by adding fifth choicesthe leadership behavior of their directors. The investi· that renecled their 9,9 style. In paraphrase, the firstgators concluded that,their analyses as a whole lent lit- Hersey-l3Ianchard situation was as follows:tle particular support for the Hersey-Blanchard model, i group is not responding favorably to our friendlyalthough they agreed that further exploration of the conversation and concern for their welfare. Theirrelationships between the maturity of subordinates and performance is going down quite quickly.the behavior of leaders would be useful. The prescribed Hersey·Blanchard answer is a high task-low relations orientation with the leader behavingCritique ~ according to responsc A. The least desirable choice isThe curvilincar model (Figure 23.3) has been roundly response D.criticized because of the lack of internal consistency of (A) Stress and apply uniform procedures and theits measures (Aldclg & Brief, 1981), because of its con- need for accomplishing the task.ceptual contmdictions, and because of its concep- (B) Keep yourself on hand for discussion, but donttual ambiguitics (Gmeff, 1983). The model appears pressure subordinates to involve you.to have no theoretical or logical justification (Graeff, (C) Set goals for subordinates after talking with1983); nevertheless, the model has intuitive appeal. them.As was already noted, Blake and Mouton (198Ia) (D) Demonstrate your intentions by not inter-argued that although situational leadership, as such fering.may be interesting, a preponderance of empiricalevidence can be marshaled in support of their one best For this situation, Blake and Mouton thought the 9,9way, namely, leadership that integrates both a task· and style was the most efficacious: Initiate a critique ses-a relations orientation. For example, in the just-men· sion with the entire group to diagnose the underlying
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 493problems responsible for this rapidly declining produc- Boone (1981) improved the LEAD by modifying itstion to decide what to do about it. From Blake and scoring. The reliability of the LEAD self-report was in·Moutons point of view, the prescribed Hersey-Blan- creased by changing it from forced-choice scoring tochard answer, A, is 9,1 behavior: telling subordinates scoring that captures the intensity of the endorsementwhat to do and pushing for production (Blake & Mou- of each alternative. In this way, for 249 managers fromton, 1982a, 1982b). South Africa and the United States, more satisfactory One hundred experienced managers from 41 organi- test-retest reliabilities, ranging from .66 to .79, were ob-zations completed the revised form without prior tained.knowledge of the controversy. They ranked thechoices for each of the 12 problems from most effec- Should Leaders Be Consistent or Flexible?tive to least effective. The managers chose the fifthalternative, which reflects Blake·Moutons 9,9 behavior A central question remains with the Hershey·Blan-(integration of the task- and relations orientation) be- chard model: Should leaders vary their orientation andtween n to 90 percent of the time to handle each of behavior to try to fit the demands of the situation orthe 12 situations. The managers chose the 9,9 alterna- should they try to be consistent in their styles? If lead-tive for situations, according to the four levels of the ers recognize that different circumstances call for dif-maturity of followers, from lowest to highest, 79 per- ferent actions on their part, do they risk being down-cent, 86 percent, 76 percent, and 78 per~ent of the graded for being inconsistent and unpredictable? Dotime, respectively. They chose the appropriate alterna- they cause subordinates to feel unsure about what istive presented by Hersey-Blanchard, to reflect the fol- expected? The evidence is mixed_ Bruce (1986) re-lowers maturity, only 9 percent, 7 percent, 11 percent, ported that CEOs placed a premium on being consist·and~ percent of the time, respectively. Similar results ent and predictable in word and action. Staw and Rosswere obtained with 36 mental health professionals. (1980) asked 95 practicing managers and 127 under- In line with these results, Slocum (1984) suggested graduates to read one of several case descriptions ofthat the emphasis on the maturity of subordinates to administrators who were consistent or flexible and ulti·determine when direction or participation is appropri· mately successful or unsuccessful in their actions. AI·ate is of minor importance, in contrast to a number of though both sets of respondents assigned the highestother variables that deal with the subordinates tasks, ratings to administrators who were consistent, particu·the technology employed, the information required, larly those who also were successful, the practicingthe managerial control and coordination systems in managers valued consistency more than did the under·place, and the amount of self-control that is possible, graduates. Block and Kennedy (1986) asked 133 em-as well as the ext~t to which the decision is opera- ployees to rate leaders who were described as consist·tional and complex. ently autocratic, consistently participative, or flexible in their style, depending on the circumstances. The employees opted most often for the consistently partic-Efforts to Improve the Model and Its Measures ipative manager than for the more flexible one. CravesNicholls (1985) suggested it may be possible to correct (1985) obtained similar results for 141 undergraduatethe modelfs logical flaws by required a smooth progres- leaders. Those who persisted in one particular waysion of the leader from the parent style of high task were evaluated more favorably than were those whoorientation-high relations orientation to the developer varied in their responses, despite the different levels ofstyle of low task-high relations. In this developmental complexity with which they had to cope. Again sup-progression, the leader will maintain a balanced em- porting the utility of consistency, Aldag and Briefphasis on both the task and relationships as long as the (1977) obtained strong negative correlations betweenability and willingness of the group are developing sym- an index of the variability of leaders behavior and mea-metrically.1f ability and willingness develop asymmetri· sures of subordinates satisfaction, involvement withcally, the leader may find it more appropriate to act their jobs, organizational commitment, and experi-highly task·oriented like a coach or a driver. enced meaningfulness of the work. Blake and Mou-
  • 494 Leadership and Managementtons (1982a) arguments for a consistent 9,9 leadership managers and to leaders of management training pro-style have more empirical support than do Hersey and grams, despite its theoretical inadequacies and the pau·Blanchards notions about how leaders must vary their city of supportive empirical evidence. An understand·style according to the situation. ing of its popularity with management may require an Some exceptions need to be noted. James and White analysis of the sociology ofknowledge, not of the mod-(1983) showed that 377 U.S. Navy managers were in els theoretical or empirical validity.favor of flexibility and varied their leadership behavior Situationalism may be popular because it providestoward their subordinates, depending on their percep· freedom from principles ("You can do your own thingtions of what specifically caused their subordinates to as you see fit"). Principles are more complex to learnperform inadequately. When 159 undergraduates and practi£e. Situationalism allows a leader to keep alljudged systematically differing leadership de:::riptions, options open (Blake & Mouton, 1982b). AlthoughKnight (1984) found that the perceived competence LEAD lacks the desired level of reliability and its valid-among managers was more important in evaluating ity remains in doubt, its situations and choices seem tothem than whether they were consistent or flexible. provide interesting discussion material for training. Its One factor that seemed to account for the differ· simplicity makes it possible to retain its prescriptionsences in support for consistency or flexibility was on a single small card. The simplicity may give manag·whether the evaluators of the leaders were the supe· ers a ~ense of quick mastery of a complex problem. Forriors or subordinates of the leaders. Appropriate flexi· the personally authoritarian manager, it calls attentionble responses were more likely to be favored if one was to the need for a flexible response. To the personallya superior of the leader, but consistent participative· democratic manager, it gives legitimacy to be directiveness was more likely to be favored if one was a subordi· at times.nate of the leader, according to a simulation employed by Heilman, Hornstein, Cage, and Herschlag (1984). In Fiedlers Contingency Model of Leadershipaddition, it seems that flexible leadership will be judged favorably if the shifts in a leaders style or behavior arc Fiedlers (1967a) contingency model of leadership has meaningful and explainable to those who are evaluat· been the most widely researched model on leadership. ing the leader as shifts to accommodate the require· It states that leaders with high Least Preferred Co· ments of the circumstances. If no such change in reo worker (LPC) scores do best in situations moderately quirements is perceived, corisistency will be prized in favorable to them; low scoring leaders do best in situa-a leader for the ease of its predictability and its fitting tions extremely favorable or extremely unfavorable to with colleagucs expectations. thcm. It is presented here as part of the discussion of Fiedlers contingency model, to be discussed next, relations· and task·oriented leadership. Nevertheless,avoids t~ problem of a leaders consistency in the face controversy continues about whether Fiedlers LPCof situations with different requirements. Leaders arc questionnaire measures task orientation or somethingseen to have a personally consistent style. Either differ· else. This controversy, in turn, affects the ability to un· ent types of leaders need to be chosen for various situa- derstand its contribution to effectiveness in different tions or the leaders need to change the situations to situations. On the surface, LPC measures how muchsuit their particular personal style. each of 16 to 18 attributes reflect respondents feelings about a person with whom they can work least effec-Why So Popular? tively.Given the competition for space in journals, many Development of the LPC Measurementmore studies-of the Hersey-Blanchard model may havebeen conducted than were accepted for publication be- Starting in the early 1950s, Fiedler (1953a. 1953b,cause of their theoretical problems or negative results. 1953c) began studying the success of therapists as aNevertheless, the Hersey-Blanchard model has had reo function of their accuracy and assumed similarity tomarkably widespread intuitive appeal to practicing their patients. This research was then extended to
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 495leaders and the effectiveness of the groups they led erally conceived by Fiedler (1967a, 1970b) to indicate a(Fiedler, 1954a, 1954b, 1955, 1956). A measure of As· relationship-motivated person, whereas a low LPCsuined Similarity between Opposites (ASo) was devel· score (rejecting the LPC) was conceived to indicate aoped. ASo scores were obtained by computing the dif· task-motivated person.ference between two sets of semantic differentialratings. One set was the leaders description of his or Measurement Properties of LPCher least preferred co-worker (LPG). The other set Agood deal of evidence is available concerning the in-were ratings of the leaders most preferred co-worker. ternal consistency and stability of the LPC, but its va-ASo scores were viewed as indicators of leadership lidity remains a complex question.style and were correlated with the performance ofgroups. The success in accurately predicting the per- Intemal Consistency. Do the same people respondformance of outcomes from ASo scores was mixed. • in the same way to the different items of the LPC Eventually, the most preferred co·worker was aban· scale? For earlier versions of LPC, Rice (1978a) ob·doned as an assessment and attention focused on the tained a mean split·half reliability of .88 for a varietyLPC. ]n its standard version, the examinee is asked to of investigations. Fox, Hill, and Guertin (1973); Shiflettthink of everyone with whom he or she has ever (1974); and Yuki (1970) discovered separate interper·worked and then to describe the one person with sonal and task factors in these earlier LPC scales, butwhom he or she could work least well. This description the secondarily scored task factor was seen to be rela·of ones LPC is made by marking 16 items, as shown tively unimportant. Therefore, a newer l8-item scalein Table 23.3. Tht> favorable pole of each scale is scored was designed to minimize task-factor items and, as aas 8 and the unfavorable pole is scored as I (Fiedler, consequence, was somewhat higher in internal consist-Chemers, & Mahar, 1976). The sum of the scales of ency (Fiedler, 1978). ]n 5 studies with the newer 18·items constitutes the individuals LPC score. A rela· item version, Rice (1979) reported coefficient alphas oftively..high LPC score (favoring the LPC) was most gen- .90, .91, .79, .84, and .89.Table 23.3 The Least Preferred Co·worker Scale Think of the person with whom yOll can work tellsl well. This person may be someone )Oll work with now or someone youknew in the past. This person docs not holVe to be the person you like least well, but should be the person with whom you hadthe most difficulty in getting a job done. Please describe this person as he or she appears to you by pulling an "X" in the appropriate space on the following scales. Pleasant . _:_ _:_ _: _ ,_ _, Unpleasant Friendly ._ _. Unfriendly Rejecting ~: _ _:_ _: Accepting Helpful ._ _. Frustrating Unenthusiastic " _:_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _: _ . __: Enthusiastic Tense _ __:_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _" _:_ _: _ Relaxed Distant :_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _. _:_ _:_ _: _ Close Cold " _. _:_ _._ _:_ _: _ _ ._ _ + Varnl Cooperative :_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _: Uncooperative Supportive :_ _:_ _._ _:_ _:_ _: 110stilc Boring Interesting Quarrelsome Harmonious Self·Assured ._ _. Hesitant Efficient :_ _:_ _:_ _:_ _: Inefficient Gloomy Cheerful Open GuardedSOURCE: Fiedler (1967, p, 41),
  • 496 Leadership and Management Stability. Do peoples LPG scores remain the same it has been attributed to "implicit instructions" of stratiover time? Rice (1978a) found 23 reports of test-retest training interventions as to how one should adapt two Ireliability ranging from .01 to .91 with a median of :67. toward poor co-workers (Rice, 1978a). LPG also appears item:Stability indexed by high test-retest correlations was sensitive to major life changes, such as being subjected Fiedlobtained by Ghemers and Skrzypek (1972f when the to stressful contact assignments (Bons, Bass, & Komo- LPGtest and retest were separated by several weeks, at rita, 1970). In spite of the satisfactory median test-re- unmleast. However, the time between the test and retest test results, Schriesheim, Bannister, and Money (1979) adid not affect stability (as might have been expected), remained unconvinced of the stability of LPG because by tlaccording to an analysis of studies in which the inter- of the wide variation in test-retest results within the callyvals between the test and the retest ranged from sev- various reported analyses. For instance, Schriesheim ers (eral days to over two years (Rice, 1978a). Hence, stabil- and Kerr (I977a) noted that a significant proportion of haveity can be maintained over extended intervals of time. persons also changed category from high to low LPGs, coneBons (1974) obtained a test-retest reliability of .72 for or vice versa. havi.4; higher-level army leaders over a five-month period, haVE Parallel-Form Reliability. Do LPG scores remainand Prothero and Fiedler (1974) obtained a test-retest Bt the same if different attributes are included in thecorrelation of .67 for 18 faculty members of a school of invo] items? For instance, in one form, the choice. may benursing over a i6-24·month period. However, Fox the I between dull and bright. In the parallel form, the(1976) found a decline in reliability when the retest was the) choice may be between stupid and smart. Rice (1978a)obtained 9 weeks instead of 4 weeks after the test. With reported one study in which scales whose items had the Imtervals of 3-5 weeks, test-retest reliabilities ranged different content and that had different formats were mistfrom .73 to .85. With intervals of 8-9 weeks, they LPC fairly well correlated with each other. Different ver-ranged from .23 to .68; when the interval was 130 sions of the LPG have contained various amounts of nitivweeks, the test-retest reliability was only .45. In addi- diSCI task-oriented items, which may reduce their parallel-tian" Fox (1976) found that stability was reduced if the sona form reliability. This difference may account for somesame least preferred co-worker was not described in the Tltest and in the retest. of the variations in correlations of the LPG version Thus, LPG is not necessarily as invariant an attri- used with other tests and measures of the effectiveness LPC of groups in attempts to determine the meaning of combute of an individual as is a personality tmit, such as tion~ LPG (Schriesheim, Bannister, & Money, 1979). Butsociability. Offerman (1984) and other investigators9 Rice (1979) argued that since correlations of .79, .78, taskobtained results suggesting that the LPG is more like a LP( and .66 were obtained when items and formats to as-transitory attitude. For example, in a comparative ex- age sess LPG had been changed, correlated parallel formsperiment with male and female undergraduates who (Bor could be constructed successfully_led opposite, mixed, or same-sex groups, Offerman com(1984) found signmeant differences among the leaders Content Validity. Are the items of the LPG scale wasas a consequence of the sex composition of the groups biased? If LPG is a measure of the degree to which panethey had just led. The LPG scores of females who had task-oriented individuals are negative about those with lie, ;just led male groups were most task oriented; the LPG whom they cannot work, an attitude reflected by as- bey<scores of males who had just led female groups were cribing negative values to the LPGs on such attributes andmost relations oriented. as pleasant-unpleasant that are not necessarily related otl1f Temporary shifts also can be induced by unsatisfac- directed to their work, then task·oriented items, such S,tory work experiences in laboratory experiments. as bright-dull, reduce the content validity of the LPG, newWhen instability has been found in such experiments, since brightness and dullness are directly related to get- defi ting the work done (Schriesheim, Bannister, & Money,III was also oblained by Fiedler, OBrien, and ligen (1969); Hardy (1971, 1979). An IS-item version that omits such clearly task-1975); Hardy and Bohren (1(75); and Hardy, Sack, and Harpine (1973). "See"Fishbein, Landy, and Hatch (1969a); E. J. Frank (1973); and Stinson and relevant items is now operative. As was noted earlier, andTracy (1974). Shiflett (1974) and YukI (1970), among others, demon- Shin.
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 497strated that the earlier versions of the LPC contained as a cognitive complexity measure (E. J. Frank, 1973),two factors. one associated with interpersonal relations as the ability to differentiate conceptually (Foa, Mit·it~ms; the other, with task-oriented items. Studies by chell, &. Fiedler, 1971), or as an index of a hierarchy ofFIedler (1967a) and Schriesheim (1979b) have found goals (FIedler, 1972a). However, this redefinition couldLP~ scores to be relatively free of social desirability. be a virtue rather than a fault. (Theoretical constructsunhke so many other personality measures. like et~er should wither away leaving behind empirical fa~~ hk~ the electrical discharge in lightning.) But Construct Validit)_ What is really being measured Critics fall to see that the new data justify the newby th~ LP~? How does the LPC logically and empiri- interpretations (Hosking, 1978). For example, Evanscally Imk WIth other known entities? Fiedler and Chern- and Dermer (1974) correlated the LPC scores for 112ers (1974. p. 74) observed that "for nearly 20 years. we business students, managers, and systems analysts withhale been attempting to correlate [LPq with every two measures of cognitive differentiation and cognitiveconceivable personality trait and every conceivable be· complexity and found that low LPC scores were associ·haior observation score. By and large these analyses ated with cognitive simplicity. Nevertheless, high LPChae been uniformly fruitless." scores were not unequivocally related to cognitive com· But Rice (1978b), who sampled 66 out of 114 studies plexity.inolving over 2.000 empirical relationships between ... 1(1 ••the LPC and other variables. thou~ht he could lav out LPC as a Measure of Relations and Task Orienta·the nomological network of empirical relationships of tion. Anumber of studies have supported the conten·the ~PC and other measures. He concluded more opti· tion that a high LPC score is connected with relationsmlsllcally that although it remains unclear whether the orientation and a low LPC score is connected with taskLPC is allleasure of social distance, personal need, ~og orientation.mtle complexity, or motivational hierarchy (as will be . Fiedler (1964. 1967a) proposed that high·LPC per·discussed later). LPC scores as measures of interper· sons have a strong need to attain and maintain suc·sonal relations versus task orientation is not in doubt. cessful interpersonal relationships. whereas low·LPC The inconsistent results can be seen if one examines persons have a strong need for successful task perform·LPGs correlations with biographical data and then ance. Four sets of data generally gave some support iorcompares what Bass (1967b) reported about the correia· this interpretation (although many reversals weretions of direct measures of relations orientation and noted). The behavior of 10w·LPC leaders tended to betask orientation. In agreement with Basss review, a low task oriented, and the behavior of high·LPC leadersLPC score (task orientation) was higher with increasing w~s g~nerally relations oriented. Members of groupsage (Fiedler & Hoffman. 1962) and with experience WIth hIgh· and 10w·LPC leaders tended to exhibit task·(Bons. Bass, & Komorita, 1970). But opposed to Basss oriented and relations·oriented leadership. Higher lev·condusi~~s, a high LPC score (relations orientation) els of satisfaction and lower levels of anxiety werewas pOSItively correlated with managerial level (AI. found among followers in groups with high·LPC lead·pander, 1974) and with Protestant, rather than Catho· er~. Finally, data suggested that low-LPC personslie. affiliation (Fiedler & Hoffman, 1962). Above and gamed self-esteem and satisfaction from the sllccessfulbeyond these results, no significant relations of biodata performance of tasks and high·LPC persons gainedand LPC were found by Eagly (1970) and numerous self·esteem and satisfaction from successful interper·other investigators. to sonal relations. Fiedler (1978) inferred that for the indio Schriesheim and Kerr (1974) have critically noted as vidual who describes his or her least preferred co·new evidence has emerged, that the LPC has beenre. worker in negative, rejecting terms. the completion ofdefined as an orientation toward work, as an attitude. the task is of such overriding importance that it com· pletely colors the perception of all other personality,- See. for example, A. R. Bass, Fiedler, and Krueger (1964); Lawrenceand Lorsch (1967a); Nealey and Blood (1968); Posthuma (1970~ and traits attributed to the LPC score. His interpretationShiflett (I97~). was as follows:
  • 498 Leadership and Management "If I cannot work with you, if you frustrate my need task·oriented leadership behavior and a high LPG score to get the job done, then you cant be any good in to coincide with relations·oriented behavior in a num- other respects. You are unfriendly, unpleasant, tense, ber ofstudies. 12 But complete reversals (Nealey & Blood, and distant, etc." 1968) and negative results were also reported. 13 Interac- The relationship-motivated individual who sees tions with situations had to be considered. H his or her LPG in relatively more positive terms says, LPG scores do not relate much to decision-making "Getting a job done is not everything. Therefore, styles. McKenna (undated) obtained correlations be· even though I cant work with you, you may still be tween the LPG and style of decision making of 22 chief friendly, relaxed, interesting, etc.; in other words, accountants, as follows: directive without explanation, someone with whom I could get along quite well on -.12; directive with explanation, -.01; consultative, a personal basis." Thus, the high LPG person looks .06; participative, .03; and delegative, .13. at Ihis or her least preferred co-worker] in a more dif· Mitchell (1970a) found that, as expected, high-LPG ferentiated manner-more interested in the person· leaders gave more weight to interp... rsonal relations. ality of the individual than merely in whether this is Gottheil and Lauterbach (1969) studied military cadets or is not someone with whom one can get a job done. and squads who were competing in field exercises and (p.61) found that a leaders low LPG score was associated with a groups performance, while the leaders high LPe and Other Relevant Measures of Orienta· LPG score was associated with a groups morale. Buttion. Vroom and Yetton (1973) and Sashkin, Taylor, contrary to expectations, LPG scores were higher forand Tripathi (1974) reported that high LPG scores reo leaders forking under short-term than under long-termlate to the preference for participation 10 resolving can· SpclOS (Miller, 1970). Such complete reversals of resultsflict. Nebeker and Hansson (1972) found that high LPG and the weakness of LPG scores as indicators of leader-scores correlate with support of the freedom that chil- ship behavior led Vroom (1976b) to suggest caution indren should be given to use fa~ilities. Alpander (1974) characterizing -leadership style on the basis of LPGobtained results indicating positive relations between score alone. For Fiedler (1967a), leadership style de-high LPG scores and the judged importance of people- pends on combining LPG scores with measures of theoriented management functions. Similarly, Ayman and situation in which the high- or low-LPG persons findGhemers (1986) found that high-LPG Nlexican manag- themselves. A high LPG score, Fiedler (1978) noted,ers described the ideal leader as a "people person" and does not always predict that a leader will behave ac-low-LPG managers described the ideal leader as a task cording to a relations orientation. Nor will a leadersmaster; 10w·LPG managers were also mare self-moni· low LPG score always predict that the leader will pushtoring. However, Singh (1983) failed to find support in for production, for completion of the task, or for moreexperiments with 53 Indian engineering students that structuring. At any rate, while LPC may prove to dis-high·LPG students would place greater importance on criminate among leaders in ways that are of conse·the"equity of the distribution of rewards while 10w·LPG quence to their effectiveness in different contingen-students would emphasize performance. In reverse of cies, LPG is not directly symptomatic of the otherany expectations, Steiner and McDiarmid (1957) styles of leadership behavior disClissed earlier or yet tofound that a high LPG score coincided with authoritar-ian beliefs, but Evans and Dermer (1974) and others II t:S ce Blades and Fiedler (1973); Chemers and Skrzypek {I 972); Green,found LPG to be unrelated significantly to authoritar- Nebeker, and Boni (1974); Gruenfeld, Rance, and Weissenberg (1969); :Ieuwese .md Fiedler (1965); Slmple and Wilson (1965); S;lshkin (1972);ianism or dogmatism. and Yuki (1970). I;See L R. Anderson (1964~ Evans (1973); Fiedler (1967a); Fiedler, LPe and Observed Leader Behavior. Observers OBrien, and ligen (1969); FOK (1974); Gracn, Orris, and Alvares (1971);and other group members found a low LPG score to and Stinson (1972).coincid~, as expected, with initiating structure and "w. W. Burke (1965), Chemers (1969), Fiedler (1967a, 1971b, 19i1e, 1971d, 1972a), W. K. Graham (1970/1973), Green and Nebeker (1974),"See A. R. Bass, Fiedler, and Krueger (1964); Fishbein, Landy. ami Nealy and Blood (1968), Rice and Chemers (1975), ShiOett and NealyHatch (1969a); and Sashkin, Taylor, and Tripathi (1974). (1972). Shima (1968); and Yuki (1970).
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 499be discussed. Hence, the results with LPC must stand eral of II other analyses, LPC was related to specificalone. In fact, some question remains about whether cognitive tendencies. Thus, Mitchell (1970a, I970b)LPC is measuring task- and relations orientation or found that high·LPC leaders gave more weight tosomething else. power and structure in making discriminations, whereas 10w·LPC leaders gave more weight to interper-Support for Alternative Meanings of LPC sonal relations. Foa, Mitchell, and Fiedler(1970) ob- served that the high·LPC leader perfonned better inLPC has gone through a series of reinterpretations on situations that present difficulties in either interper·the basis of empirical studies of its characteristics. It sonal or task relations and thus that require a high de·has been conceived as a measure of social distance, of gree of cognitive differentiation between them. Jacobycognitive complexity, of motivational priorities and of (1968) found positive correlations between LPC anda ·alue·attitude. scores on the Remol.: Associates Test, a test of creativ· LPG as a Measure of Social Distance. At first, ity. Similarly, Triandis, Mikesell, and Ewen (1962) re-Fiedler (1957, 1958) interpreted LPC-then called ported a possibly positive correlation between LPC and:50, an index almost perfectly correlated with LPC- the judged creativity of two written passages. Singh35 a generalized index of psychological closeness. Low- (1983) also obtained data to support LPC as a measure _.l~;LPC persons were conceived to be more socially or psy· of cognitive complexity by demonstrating that high· ,- . LPC engineering students did better than did 10w·LPC .. .. . , -~ ,:hologically distant from other group members than···ere high-LPC pe.sons. The assumed similarity data students in obeying the precise prescriptions of a··ere drawn from person-perception research con· model for the equitable distribution of rewards. ,.; ~ucted in therapeutic settings. Fiedler (1953a, 1953b) The findings for cognitive complexity dealing with:nferred that respondents showed greater assumed sim· field independence-dependence, as measured by the . Embedded Figures Test, were less consistent (Gruen· ......!Jarity beh"e~n themselves and group members they ,,- .-;::!ked than between themselves and members they dis· feld & Arbuthnot, 1968; Weissenberg & Gruenfeld,iiked. Analyses suggested that LPC was a measure of 1966). Furthermore, a number of other studies IS foundemotional and psychological distance. since high·LPC no evidence to support LPC as a measure of cognitive;>ersons conformed more in the face of social pressure complexity.and were more closely involved with other group mem-)ers. But following a review of studies of the reactions LPC as a Measure of a Motivational Hierarchy. To:i others to high· and 10w·LPC persons, Rice (1978b) account for so much variation in results, Fiedler (1972a):oncluded that the data were contradictory. saw the need for a "hierarchical" conceptualization of LPC. Since, according to Fiedler, the high·LPC person LPG as a Measure of fognitive Complexity. Foa, needs to be related and socially connected to others,~litchell. and Fiedler (1971) and Hill (1969a) argued he or she will show concern for good interpersonal rela·that high·LPC persons arc more cognitively complex tions when the situation is tense and anxiety arousing.faoring the abstract over the concrete and using less and when his or her relations with co-workers seembiOad categorizations) than are 10w·LPC persons. They tenuous. But when the goals of being related are se·based their proposal on the positive correlations they cure, the relationship-motivated high·LPC person willround between LPC and several measures of cognitive then seek the self·oriented admiration of others andcomplexity. In addition, the intercorrelations among the attainment of prominence. In work groups, suchthe factor scores of the LPC scale were lower for high· goals can be attained by showing concern for the task-LPC persons, and greater responsiveness to interper· relevant aspects of the groups interaction. In the same50nal factors in the judgments and behavior of high· way, the major obiectives of the low-LPC person are toLPC persons was observed. - nSee Fiedler(1954a,1954b); Fishbein, Landy, and Hatch (1969b); Nealey .-Ithough LPC was found to be correlated signifi- and Blood (1968); Shinell (1974); Shima (1968); and Larson and Rowlandcantly with intelligence in only I to 14 analyses, in sev· (1974).
  • 500 Leadership and Managementaccomplish a task and to earn self-esteem by doing a significance, with no attention paid to the strength ofgood job (D. W. Bishop, 1964). But when the comple- the relationships that were found, it is difficult to ac·tion of a task presents no problem, the low-LPG person cept Rices evidence as compelling. However, Ricewill seek friendly, good interpersonal relations with co- (1978b) concluded, as a consequence of his analysis ofworkers, partly because he or she believes that good 313 reported relationships, that LPG was more stronglyinterpersonal relations are conducive to accomplishing linked (that is, significant results at the 5 percent levelthe task (Fiedler, 197Ib). were obtained) with. values and attitudes. But even Nevertheless, this, like previous interpretations, reo here, only 27 percent of the 313 relationships were sig-mains controversial. Green and Nebeker (1977) pre· nificant. Yet even among these, some expected andsented data to support it. But evidence by Rice and reasonable inferences could be made with some con-Ghemers (1975) failed to confirm predictions based on viction. Thus, as would be expected from relations-ori-a motivational hierarchy. LPG as a measure of cogni· ented individuals, high-LPG persons were found totive complexity better fit their results. Similarly, Kun- make more fa~orable judgments of other group mem-czik (1976a, 1976b) found no support for the motiva· bers-the leader, co-workers, and followers in gen-tional hierarchy in studies of the relation of ASo with eral- 16 than were low-LPG persons in 18 of 20 analy-various personality measures among 1,590 German ses. Low·LPG persons tended to be more favorablearmy recruits and 148 group leaders. Schriesheim and than high·LPG persons in judgments of their bestKerr (I 977b) concluded that neither sufficient theoret- friends, more preferred co-workers, and loyal subordi-ical nor empirical support emerged for this interpreta- natesP But negative results were also reported. lstion of LPG. Rice (1978b) concluded from these studies that low- LPG persons diSCI iminated more sharply among other LPG as a Measure of a Value-Attitude. On the ba· group members on task competence than did high-sis of a review of available evidence, Rice (1978b) LPG persons. LPG was also related to judgments aboutagreed that the data did not support the shift in orien- oneself; 10w·LPG persons judged themselves signifi·tation required by the motivational hierarchy concept cantly more favorably than did high·LPG persons in 34of LPG. Rather, according to Rice, the data better fit of 102 analyses, particularly in direct evaluations (88a simpler conceptualization of LPG as a value and an percent of the relationships were statistically signifi-attitude, for LPG was more consistently and strongly cant).19 A complete reversal (not necessarily unex·related to attitudes and judgments than to behavioral pected) occurred in a Japanese study (Shima, 1968),manifestations. Therefore, LPG was seen as an atti- and negative results were reported by others. 20tude that reflects differences toward interpersonal rela· Evidence that low-LPG persons value the successfultions and the accomplishment of tasks. One can make completion of tasks was seen in the defensiveness ofsome general statements about the behavior of high·and low-LPG leaders, but situational variables have a 16See, for example, Alpander (1974); Cronbach, Hartmann, and Ehartstrong influence. (1953); Godfrey, fiedler, and Hall (1959~ Hunt (1971); Wearing and Bishop (1976); and Wood and Sobel (1970). Hbw can Fiedler and Ghemerss (1974) beliefs in the I:S ee A. R. Bass, Fiedler, and Krueger (1964); Bons, A. R. Bass, anduniqueness of LPG be reconciled with Rices conclu· Komorita (1970); fiedler(1958, 1962, 1964,1967a); Godfrey, Fiedler, andsion that LPG is a value·attitude assessment? One Hall (1959); Goltheil and Vielhaber (1966); Jones and Johnson (1972); and Shinett (1974).problem was Rices strategy of building his summary ISee Bishop (1967). Chemers (1969), Collheil and Lauterbach (1969).around published relationships that were statistically Hutchins and fiedler (1960), and Steiner and Peters (1958).significant at the 5 percent level. As David Bakan has ISee. for example. D. R. Anderson (1964); Ayer (1968); A. R. Bass, Fiedler, and Krueger (1964); Bons, A. R. Bass. and Komorita (1970);quipped in private communication, significant rela· W. W. Burke (1965); Fiedler (l972a); W. M. Fox (1974); and ShiOetltionships are more likely to be published than are non· (1974).significant ones. The total universe of studies is prob- ~Bishop (1967); Fiedler (1967a); Colb and Fiedler (1955); Cottheil and Lauterbach (1969); Cottheil and Vielhaber (1966); Gruenfeld and Ar-ably far greater than what Rice compiled. And with so buthnot (1968); Sashkin, Taylor, and Tripathi (1974); Steiner and McDi·many studies in the significant pool at the margin of armid (l957); and Strickland (1967).
  • . Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 501their attributions about the cause of the failure of a stance, would change places on the dimension of fa-task and their evaluation of the task·relevant ability of vorability if one gave more weight to the tasksthe group. In addition, 10w·LPG persons were found to structure than to the leaders positional power. Thebe more optimistic about being successful in a task and eight octants of the situational favorability dimensionabout earning important rewards as a consequence. At are shown along the horizontal axis of Figure 23.4.the same time, high·LPG persons were more optimistic Weighting. The relative importance of the threeabout the success of interpersonal relationships and situational factors to the leaders situational favorabil·the expectation that such success will lead to impor· ity was reflected in a continuous scale constructed bytant outcomes (Fiedler, 1967a, 1972a). Nebeker (1975). Nebekers scale weighted standardized Taking everything into account, Rice (1978b~ on the scores for each of the three situational variables suchbasis of these mixed results, agreed with Fiedler that that the leaders situational favorability = 4 Qeader-10w·LPC persons value being successful in tasks andhigh-LPC persons value interpersonal success. But member relations) + 2 (task structure) + (positional power).Fiedler concluded that any interpretation of the mean- The theoretical combinations required by Fiedler foring of LPG must take into account situational consider· octant analysis fit the empirical multiple regressionations in determining how LPG will manifest itself in analyses completed by Nebeker (1975). Beach andeffecthe leadership. That is, Fiedler (1978) believed Beach (1978) also reported findings that supported anthat the main effects of LPG on a leaders behavior are independent, additive view of the three variables of ..... .weak in comparison to the effects of the interaction .... - :-- . leader·member relations, task structure, and leaders ~of LPC with the favorableness of the situation to the ". positional power. Beach and Beach (1978) asked stu- ".leader. . dents to estimate the probability of success and the sit· " uational favorability of a series of hypothetical leader· ship situations. Situations were presented as involving .. ;;.Situational FallOrability for the Leader either good Or poor leader-mem?er relations, high orIn Fiedlers (196:-a. 1978) exposition of his model, low· low task structure, and the leaders high or low posi-LPG (task-oriented) leaders perform better and lead tional power. A correlation of .89 was obtained be-more effective groups when the quality of leader-mem· tween the estimated probability of the leaders successber relationships, the degree of task structure, and the and the degree of situational favorability. A multiplepositiondi power of the leader are either altogether correlation was then compared with situational favor-highly faorable or altogether highly unfavorable to the ableness as the criterion and the three situational fa·leader. High·LPC (relations-oriented) leaders are most vorability subscales as predictors. The beta weights ob·effectie when faorability is neither high nor low; that tained were .45 for leader-member relations, .33 foris, high-LPC leaders are expected to be most effective task structure, and .11 for positional power, comparable .in moderatelv faorable circumstances. Fiedler envis· ~ to the Nebeker formula of 4:2:1.aged eight situations (octants I through VIII), one for Earlier, situational favorability had been defined ineach combination of poor or good relations with group terms of how much control the leader had in the situa-members, low or high structure of the group, and weak tion. Support for the linkage of situational favorabilityor strong power of the leader. The extremes of octants and situational control came from a study by Mai·Dal-I and YIIl are clearly determined in their location at ton (1975) in which participants were asked to com·the ends of the dimension of situational favorability. In plete a leaders in·basket test. The study found thatoctant l, leader-member relations are good, the task is high-LPC leaders tend to be most effective and arehighly structured, and the leaders positional power is most likely to ask for additional information in moder-strong. In octant VIII, leader·member relations are ate·control situations, while low-LPG persons manifestpoor, the task is unstructured, and the leaders posi· the most information·searching behavior in high·con.tional power is weak. But octants 11 and lll, for in- trol situations.
  • 502 Leadership and Management Figure 23.4. The Conlingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness Based on Original Studies High LPC: Relations. 1.00 Oriented - .80 - - " u c E .60 .40 - ~~ • ~ &:: .20 1J§ .CJ o • • go I • ::C ~6 t:u 8~ -.20 0 ---.---------------- • ..1 -~---i-- • ~ -.40 I 3 -.60 • • • Low LPC: -.80 • Task· Oriented Favomble II III IV V VI VII VIII Unf:womble ror Leader for Leader Le..der·Membcr ReI..tions Cood Cood Cood Coed Moder.itely Moderately ModcrJtcly :-ooeratcly Poor Poor ~)()r rtJt,r Task Stn,eturc Structured Slrulturcd Unstructured Unstructured 5lruclu",1 Structured Un,tnu.:tufcd Umtructurcd Leader Posilion Power Strong Weak Strung Weak Sirong Wc;,k Strom: c;,k SOURCE: Fiedler (I967a). Determination of Situational Characteristics. In Iier methods of estimating leader·member relations. It Fiedlers original studies, the quality of interpersonal is presented in Table 23.4. To measure task-structure, relations was measured by sociometric choices and reo a scale was created to obtain judgments about whether lated measures of liking. Open·hearth steel crews were the goal was clearly stated, whether there was only one~ judged to be highly structured and boards of directors way to accomplish the task, whether there was one cor· or transient student groups were judged to be highly rect answer, and whether results are easy to check for unstructured. The leaders power was judged to be correctness, To measure a leaders positional·power a high for managers of gasoline stations and to be low for scale questioned whether the leader could evaluate the informal leaders of basketball teams. Subsequently, subordinates and recommend rewards, punishments, Fiedler developed specific scales to provide measure· promotions, and demotions. (Fiedler, Chemers, & ments of the three situational variables for any leader· Mahar, 1976). Schriesheim (1979a) found the group· group situation. Other situational variables that have atmosphere scale to be free of social desirability, but been assumed to determine the leaders situational the positional·power scale correlated .42 with social de· control include stress, cultural and linguistic heteroge- sirability. neity, and the amount of experience.2 - To measure leader·member relations, a group·atmo· Meaning of Situational Falorability. Situational fa· sphere scale was developed that correlated .88 with ear· vorability, with its high degree of control and influence, implies that the leaders are certain that their decisions !Ayer (1968); Fiedler (1966); Fiedler, Meuwese, and Dank (1961~ and actions will have predictable results, will achieve Fiedler, OBrien. and ligen (1969~ and Meuwese and Fiedler (1965). the desired goals, and will satisfy the leaders (Fiedler,
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 503Table 23.4 Croup·Atmosphere Scale Describe the atmosphere of your group by checking the following items. Friendly Unfriendly Accepting Rejecting Satisfying Frustrating Enthusiastic Unenthusiastic Productive Nonproductive Warm Cold Supportive Hostile Interesting Boring Successful UnsuccessfulSOUIICf.: Fiedler (1967, p. 267).1978). At the favorable, high·control extreme and the completed in a designated octant denoted the extentunfavorable low-control extreme, the leaders know to which high·LPG leaders performed more effectively ....=:,.~where they stand in relation to their groups. In- than did 10w·LPG leaders. A negative median correla- , 0: . .between relations are more cloudy for the leaders. tion disclosed that the low-LPG leaders were superior Schriesneim and Hosking (1976) found a number of -" for a dcsignatecf octant. Fiedler theorized that the cur·problems with the measurement of situational favora· vilinear relation (as seen in Figure 23.1) was an indica- . ... - ~bility. The three variables are assumed to interact in a tion that 10w·LPG leaders were more effective thanrelatively simple way to determine the amount of influ- high-LPG leaders in very favorable and very unfavor· .......ence the leader has over the group, an assumption sub· able situations (e.g., octants 1 and Vlll), whereas high· -:.. "Fseqllently supported by Beach and Beachs (1978) re- LPG leaders were more effective in situations of inter·sults. However, although Fiedler (1978) acknowledged mediate favorability (e.g., octants IV and V).the importance of other variables to situational control,he relied on just the aforementioned three among the Validity of tile Modelmany possible variables of consequence (Filley, House, Fiedler (1971 b, 1978) reviewed efforts to validate the& Kerr, 1976). contingency model. 22 The empirical investigations in· cluded field studies, field experiments, laboratory ex·Situational FavoTability and LPC periments, and octant analyses.Between 1953 and 1964, Fiedler and his associates Field Studies. Field tests validating the model werestudied the eff~tiveness of leadership in a variety of completed with basketball teams, student surveyinggroups and tested a contingency hypothesis from the teams, bomber crews, tank crews, open-hearth shops,results of those studies. Fiedler (1964) plotted the corre· farm·supply cooperatives, training groups, depart·lations and their medians between LPG scores (actually ments of a large physical science research laboratory, aASo) and group performance for the different oc· chain of supermarkets, and a plant that manufacturedtants-the different levels of sItuational favorability. heavy machinery. W. A. Hill (196901) reported analysesHe obtained a correlation between all the leaders in a in a large electronics firm with assembly·line instruc·particular study in a designated octant of situational tors. Fiedler, OBrien, and llgen (1969) worked withfavorability for the leaders and the effectiveness of public health volunteer groups in Honduras. Shimatheir groups. Apositive correlation indicated that high· (1968) studied Japanese student groups; MitchellLPG (relations-oriented) leaders coincided with more (1970b), participants in a church-leadership workshop;effective groups. A negative correlation showed thatlow·LPG (task.oriented) leaders ran more effective llOther such reviews were completed by Fiedler and Chemm (1974);groups. A positive median correlation for all analyses and Mitchell, Biglan, Gncken, and Fiedler (1970),
  • 504 Leadership and Managementand Fiedler (197lc), trainees of an executive develop- and found that almost all predictions fit the model. Ta-ment program. ble 23.5 presents Rices results. However, Ciffort and Illustrative of the operational support of applied Ayman (1988) found that the contingency model wasfindings was Loyer and OReillys (1985) study of On- also supported when th~y used subordinates satisfac-tario community health supervisors. In favorable situa- tion with co-workers as a criterion of effective leader-tions on the group·atmosphere scale, units led by low· ship. The outcomes were dependent on situational fa·LPG (task·oriented) supervisors were more effective vorability as expected, but two other measures of(according to nursing directors evaluations of the subordinates satisfaction (with the job and with super·units) than were groups led by high·LPG supervisors. vision) failed to be sensitive in the same way.A.s predicted by the model, groups led by high-LPG (re- Field Experiments. A number of experiments andlations-oriented) supervisors, rather than those led by controlled field studies also tested the model. Fiedlerlow-LPG (task·oriented) leaders, were more effective in (1966) studied 96 experimentally assembled groups ofsituations that were moderately favorable to the super- Belgian sailors, half of which were led by petty officersvisors. A similar confirmatory pattern was reported by and half by recruits. Half the groups began with struc-Wearing and Bishop (1974) for the LPG scores oflead- tured tasks (routing a ship convoy through 10 and theners and their U.S. Army combat-engineer training 12 ports), while the other half began with unstructuredsquads. tasks (writing a recruitment letter). The results were Kennedy (1982) reanalyzed data from 697 fire and consistent with the contingency model.military personnel in 13 studies. As the contingency In a controlled experiment completed by Ghemerstheory postulated, low-LPG leaders did best, according and Skrzypek (1972) at West Point, leaders were chosento supervisors and observers evaluations, in very fa- on the basis of so.ciometric choices by the members tovorable and very unfavorable situations, and high-LPG determine in advance who the members would chooseleaders did best in the moderately favorable situations. as a leader. Then half the groups were assembled withHowever, Kennedy also observed that LPG leaders preferred leaders and half with nonpreferred leaders.whose LPG scores were intermediate were generally This study, with carefully preselected leaders, repli·more effective than were those whose LPG leaders cated the predicted median correlations. The generallyscores were high or low, and their effectiveness was rel- supportive results are displayed in Figure 23.5. Fiedleratively unaffected by the favorability of the situation. (1978) concluded that the results of field research on Conclusions supporting the validity of the contin- work groups almost uniformly supported the model butgency model were most likely to be reached if the crite- that the results of experimental group research were rion measure of effectiveness was limited to superiors somewhat less supportive.evaluations of the performance of high· and low·LPCpersons in carrying out their tasks as leaders. Rice Laboratory Experiments. Cruenfeld, Rance, and(1978b) reviewed the relevant correlations by octants Weissenberg (1969) studied leaders under high, me-Table 23.5 Extent to Which the Contingency Model Fits Obtained Correlations of LPCand Superiors Appraisals as a Function of Situational Favorability in Eight Octants I II III IV V VI VII VIll Predicted Direction: Negative Negative Negative Positive Positive Positive Positive NegativeEmpirical Analyses:Correlation of superiors ap- 14 18 12 0 2 16 praisal ane LPC in the direc- lion predicted by the modelTotal number of analyses 17 18 12 2 16SOURCE: Rice (1978b).
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 505Figure 235. ~Iedian Correlations between Leaders Performance and Croup Performance for the OriginalStudies, Validation Studies, and the Chemers and Skrzypek (1972) Study -------- Original studies - - - Validation studies l.00 - - - West Point study ... .80 "..c c... E ~ " .60o:;~ ..to _ Relationship·motivated.0 ... ",c.. leader performs best c-".2 ~ .20Er:: .00~--s:(5 :; _ Task·motivatedUu -.20 ,. leader performs bestcc.. ..."" " ..S ....l -.40~~ I -.60 -.80 Favomble II III IV V VI VII VIII Unfavorable .. "~··.l ......., I- .... for Leader for Leader .. "Learler·lember Coocl Good Good Good Poor Poor Poor Poor " ..Relations " . . .Task Struch!re Structured Unstructured .Structured Unslruclured ~:,: , .-Lelder Posilion Strong Weak Strong Weak Strong Weak SlrollR Weak -." ..:Power :"i"SOlRCE: Fiedler (l97ib).dium, or low support in experimental groups. They groups performance of tasks, according to the contin-found that low·LPG leaders behaved in a more domi· gency model, in several cases, although the investiga·nant manner than did high·LPG leaders, regardless of tors qualified their findings because of the lack of di·the level of group support, but especially under me· rect measures of situational favorableness.dium support. Singh, Bohra, and Dalal (1979) completed four exper· Exceptions to the ~dicted relations were found in iments with male Indian engineering students andoctant II (good leader·member relations and structured, demonstrated that a much better fit with the contin-weak power of the leader), where the correlations be· gency model could be obtained if the situational fa·tween LPG and group effectiveness in the laboratory vorability of the octants was placed on the horizontalstudies were positive rather than negative as predicted. axis according to how much the ratings of the qualityThe same results occurred in laboratory experiments ofleader·member relations, task structure, and positionby Hardy (1971, 1975) and Hardy, Sack, and Harpine actually contributed to situational favorability. They(1973), who obtained LPC scores one or two weeks be· discovered that ratings of the power relations declinedfore their experiment. In two of these studies, leader- in importance to situational favorability and ratings ofmember relations were experimentally manipulated by leader-member relations increased in importance to sit·assigning subjects to groups on the basis of preassessed uational favorability. They attributed the changes insociometric scores. Rice~ Bender, and Vitters (1980) the importance of the components of situational fa·completed a laboratory study of 72 4·person temporary vorability to Indias return to democracy after thegroups of West Point cadets using female and male emergency rule by Indira Gandhi, which coincidedleaders. The LPC scores related significantly to the with the repeated data collection. These shifts called
  • 506 Leadership and Managementinto question Nebekers (1975) 4:2:1 fixed scheme for compared the performance of three-man collegeweighting the three variables that contribute to situa- groups with very high intellectual ability and with mod-tional favorability. erate ability in creative tasks in octants III and IV (weak and strong positional power), The results of the moder- Comparisons of the Octants. As shown in Table ate-ability groups supported the prediction of the23.5, a large number of studies have assessed the hy- model, but those of the very·high·ability groups werepothesized relationships for designated octants, In contradictory and nonsignificant.these studies, usually efforts were made to select or cre- Two laboratory experiments by Craen, Orris, andate and compare two of the eight octant situations and Alvares (1971) and a field study of tax examiners in the to note the LPC of the leader in relation to the groups Internal Revenue Service by Fox (1982) also failed toeffectiveness. Thirty-eight of these studies have been find the expected .outcomes. But Fiedler (1971a) andgenerally supportive of the contingency model.2l Chemers and Skrzypek (1972) attributed these failures Illustrative of additional suppor~;ve analyses of se- to methodological manipulations that were inadequatelected octants are dissertation studies of 122 child- to test the model. The results obtained by Utecht andstudy teams and their chairpersons in public schools Heier (1976) and Vecchio (1977) also failed to support(Jacobs, 1976), of 64 groups of secondary-school juniors the model, but Fiedler (1978) found that Vecchios as-(Smith, 1974), and of 40 task-oriented three-person ex- signment of leaders to mixes of classmates whom theperimental groups (Maher, 1976). Beebe (1975) manip- leaders ranked favorably and unfavorably was an in·ulated the leaders positional power by instruction, valid manipulation of good and poor relations. Butstructure, and task assignments, Only good leader- again, Isenberg (1981) found no support for the model member relations were involved to determine the ef· in a study of communicatjons. When the LPC scores offectiveness of 37 three·person groups for octants II and 62 Indian woolen· mill supervisors were combined withIV. The correlation of LPC and group productivity was task·structure and positional-power ratings of situa·.01 in octant II and .40 in octant IV, both nonsignifi- tional favorableness by Upmanyu and Singh (1981),cant. ~evertheless, the result for octant IV was near they suggested that there was a need to reclassify the the usual obtained in many other studies. octants. A review by Rice (1981) concluded that follow- Vnsupportive Results. Along with the field, labora- ers were more satisfied when there were low-LPC (task-tory, and octant studies that provide support for the oriented) leaders in favorable situations and high·LPCvalidity of the contingency model have come a nllmber (relations-oriented) leaders in unfavorable situations.of studies that have failed to find support for the Furthermore, contrary to the usual expectation thatmodel. Lanaghans (1972) analyses of the effectiveness the homogeneity of the leader and followers would beof 59 Illinois elementary schools and their principals more satisfying to the followers, Rice noted that theand of the satisfaction of the teachers as a function followers satisfaction was highest when the leader and~ the behavior of the principals provided support for followers had dissimilar LPC scores.Fiedlers contingency-model predictions in only 6 of Some unsupportive studies only indirectly tested thethe 80 situations analyzed (at the 5 percent level of con- contingency model. Fiedler (1977b) pointed out thatfidence). In 7 other situations, results for relations and much research that was designed to test the modeltask orientation were opposite to what would have failed to use favorable and unfavorable situations thatbeen predicted by the model. Shiflett and Nealey 11972} were different enough from each other to provide a :IW. W. Burke (1965); Chemers and Skrzypek (1972); Cleven and Fiedler valid test.(1956); Csoka (1974, 1975); Cummins (1970); Eagly (1970); Fiedler(1954a, 1955, 1966, 1967a, 1972a); Fiedler and Meuwese (1963~ Fiedler,Meuwese, and Oonk (1961); Fiedler, OBrien, and ligen (1969); Crcen Criticisms and Rejoindersand Nebeker(1977); Hardy(1971); Hawkins (1962); W. Hill (1969); Hovey(1974k.Hunt (1967, 1971); Hutchins and Fiedler (1960); ligen and 0, In studies that employed only an approximate classifi-Brien (1974); ulian (1964); Kunczik (1976a, 1976b); L. K. Michaelson cation of situations-favorable, intermediate, or unfa-(1973); "lilIer (1970); Nealey and Blood (1968); Reavis amI Derlega (1976):Rice and Chemers (1973, 1975); Sample and Wilson (1965): Sashkin vorable to the leader-26 of 35 correlations of LPC and(1972); Schneier (1978); and Ziller (1963). group effectiveness were as predicted by the model
  • Task- versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 507(Fiedler, 197Ib). But critics fault these conclusions. Differences in Octants. As vas noted earlier, octantSome correlation coefficients were based on subsam· II, in toto, yielded mixed and widely diverging results.pies in the same study in which one subsample may However, Fiedler (1978) argued that octant II, whichhave had good and the other may have had poor leader· requires a structured task with a powerless leader, maymember relations (Ashour, 1973a, 1973b; Graen, Alv. be created experimentally but is unlikely to exist in theares, Orris, & Martella, 1970). field. Fiedler (1978) suggested that leaders who are A more general criticism is that most of the valida- placed under such circumstances will find the situationtions are based on concurrent measurements of LPC, unmanageable. This suggestion, of course, fails to ex·leader·member relations, and group performance plain what is causing the varying results of octant II. Ascores. Measures of leader-member relations and even more important question is this: Why is octant II, forLPC scores may be affected by the groups perform- example, less favorable to a leader than is octant Ill,ance (Vroom, 1976b). This cause·effect criticism can be • since in both octants, two of three variables favor theleveled at a good p~rcentage of research on leadership, leader? What is required is differential weighting of thenot just at those studies that have tested Fiedlers variables. The difference in task structure between oc·model (Kerr & Schriesheim, 1974), but Katz and Farris tant II and octant III must be given more weight(1976) actually found specific evidence that group per· toward favorability than the leaders positional powerformance can cause variations in leaders LPC scores. as weak or strong. This weigh~ing was provided by ~ .." , ..... . .. ~ Rice (1976) could find only one clear significant pat- Nebeker (1975) and Beach and Beach (1978). However,tern relating the leaders LPC score to the groups ef- except for permitting the graphics to remain the same,fectiveness among 140 significant relations reported in a ralionale and evidence is needed to support the logicthe literature. When the leader described leader·mem· that task structure is twice as important to a leadersber relations favorably, low-LPC leaders were dearly situational favorability than is the power of the leadersmore effective; 23 of 26 significant effects (88 percent) position. The same problem exists between octants IVunder such conditions showed 10w·LPC leaders to be and V, for which leader·member relations must be " , .-more effective than high·LPC leaders. When leaders given more weight than task st~ucture (as has beendescribed leader·member relations as poor, there was done).no clear pattern. This finding could be considered evi- Variations in nesults. Empirically troublesome todence that the groups performance affected the lead- some critics is the wide divergence of individual corre-ers judgment of the quality of relations with members. lation coefficients in each octant, as can be seen in Fig· But a longitudinal study of 8 intramural basketball ures 23.4 and 23.5. The median correlation for octantteams over a nine·week season by Konar·Goldband, IV, for instance, may be .40, but the results that con·Rice, and Monkarsh (1979) concluded that previously tribute to the median may range from .00 to .71.assessed LPC scores of the leaders and the groups ini· Another problem for which explanations are offered,tial atmosphere did predict the groups subsequent per· but not necessarily accepted, is how to interpret someformance according t~the contingency model. Incre· of the sudden shifts, say, from octant III to octant IVments in effective performance beyond the initial of the median of - .29 to the median of .40. Hoskinglevels were most likely for groups with 10w·LPC leaders (1978) believed that the most supportable inferenceand a good group atmosphere. An additional 7 percent about all octants except octant I is that medians areof the variance in effective performance was ac· random departures from a true correlation of zero.counted for by the interaction of the groups previous Schriesheim and Kerr (1977b) agreed in a review of addi·atmosphere and leaders LPC scores. Atlhe same lime, tional studies. Schriesheim and Hosking (1978, p. 500)the investigators also found that to percenl of the in- concluded:crement in the groups atmosphere beyond the initiallevels was ;lccounted for by LPC interacling wilh the When the relevant studies are critically examined,groups initial performance. They concluded that a sys- and a distinction drawn between those that consti-tems approach that allows cause and effects 10 now in tute adequate tests of the model and those that doboth directions is required. not, the results are far from encouraging. Examining
  • 508 Leadership and Management both the size and direction of the correlations in LPC scales. He even anticipated many of the criticisms each of the eight octants of the situational favorable- (Mitchell, Biglan, Oncken, & Fiedler, 1970). As T. R. ness dimension, reveals that Fiedlers model really Mitchell (1972) noted, if the validity of the hypothe· has little empirical support. sized curvilinear relationship is to be tested, all eight octants must be assessed in a given study. Despite the However, Strube and Garcia (1981), using R. Rosen·thaIs (1978, 1979a) meta·analyses of the contingency difficulty of obtaining sufficient participants when the group, rather than the individual, is the unit of analysis,model, thought that all but octants III and VII in Fied· research designs must have adequate sample sizes andlers original validation were supportable, but they resulting statistical power (T. R. Mitchell, 1972).ignored octant VI. Strube and Garcia identified 33 Although the contingency model may still appear toanalyses from which the model was built and 145 be supported by a wide array of studies, the meaningsubsequent tests of the validity of the model. A meta· of LPC remains unclear and controversial, and no ade·analysis of these data strongly supported the models quate theoretical explanation of its effects has beenvalidity. Vecchio (1983) believed that Strube and Gar· presented. Moreover, the variability of the findings andcia had used a biased sample of studies and suggested the reverse results with octant 11 continue to troublethe need to qualify the conclusions they had reached, confidence in it. Yet, the model compares favorablybut Strube and Garcia (1983) rejected Vecchios criti· with alternative models with which it has been com-cisms. Then, a less extensive meta-analysis by Peters, pared analytically.Hartke, and Pohlmann (1985) provided additional butsomewhat less strong support for the validity of the Comparison witll Alternative Contingencymodel than Strube and Garcia obtained. Finally, after Models. Schriesheim, Tepper, and Tetrault (1988)including almost twice the number of validation corre· compared two alternative contingency models withlations than had been listed by Strube and Garcia Fiedlers contingency model. In the declining-octant(1981) and Peters, Hartke, and Pohlmann (1985), Na· model (Shinett, 1973), the performance of both high-than, Hass, and Nathan (1986) rejected the earlier sup- and low-LPC leaders should decline systematicallyportive conclusions of both previous meta·analyses. from octant I to octant 8 as the situation becomes lessNathan, Haas, and Nathan based their rejection on the favorable to the leader. In the declining·zone model,fact that the set of validity coeficients within each oc· octants 1,2, and 3 are most situationally favorable; oc-tant varied much too much. They stated: tants 4, 5, 6, and 7 are the next most favorable; and octant 8 is the least favorable to the leader. The confidence intervals are too broad to allow any Fiedlers contingency model predicts that high.LPC one to expect, as the theory predicts, that low LPC leaders will be more effective in octant 4 than in octant leaders would be effective when situational favora· I, octant 2, octant 3, or octant 8. Four tests of the sig· bility4Yas good and high LPC leaders would be effec· nificance of the difference can be made to compare tive when situational favorability was moderately octant I with each of these other octants (2, 3, and 8). poor. Worse, the fairly stable finding in Octant II, Four such tests can also be made for octants 5 against that when situational favorability is very good, high octants I, 2, 3, and 8. Again, four such tests can be rather than low LPC leaders will be effective is di- made for octant 6 and four more for octant 7. Acompa- rectly opposite to what the theory predicts. At best, rable number of tests across pairs of octants can be one can conclude that over half the time, correla- made for 10w·LPC leaders who are predicted by the tions are above and below zero as predicted. (p. 10) contingency model to be more effective in octants 1, Fiedler (197Ia, 1971b, 1973, 1978) systematically 2, 3, and 8 and less effective in octants 4, 5, 6, and 7.dealt with many of the earlier criticisms of his method· Similar tests can be made for the rival models. In theology, of thtHtatistical strength of evidence, of the con· declining·octant model, effectiveness is expected to de-ceptual meaning of the three variables defining situa· cline from octant I to octant 8. Since octant 1 is thetional favorability, and of the construct assessed by the most favorable, it should coincide with the leader being
  • Task· versus Relations-Oriented Leadership 509more effective than in each of the other octants; octant Followers LPCs. The followers LPGs also may2 should yield better performance than each of the re- make a difference. Schuster and Glark (1970) studiedmaining octants, and so on. first· and second·level supervisors in post offices. Un- Each octant was compared one at a time by Schries· der high.LPG second-level supervision, high·LPG first·heim, Tepper, and Tetrault (1988) with each relevant level supervisors were better satisfied than were theirother octant using meta·analytic procedures. The data low-LPG peers. With 10w·LPG second·level supervi.came from a variety of published investigations. Sixty· sors, the satisfaction of high· and 10w·LPG first·leveltwo percent of 245 tests of the differences between supervisors did not differ.pairs of octants fit the contingency model, 54 percent Hunt (1971) assembled groups, each with a manager,of 281 tests fit the declining-octant model, and 51 per· two supervisors, and two workers, to play a businesscent of 274 tests fit the declining·zone model. The in- game. Although the effects of manager-supervisor in-vestigators concluded that, overall, these results sup· teraction did not account for variance in the teamsported the greater validity of Fiedlers contingency performance, the effects of the manager and supervi.model than of the proposed alternatives. sor alone were each significantly related to the per· formance of the workers. Low-LPG managers andOther Situational Variables of Consequence high·LPC supervisors had the best performing groups, while high-LPC managers and 10w·LPG supervisors .: ;h a CrCss·culturaI situation, Chemers (1969) trained had the poorest performing groups. The two·level in· ..: .leaders in the culture of their followers or in the geog· teraction effect also predicted the satisfaction of work·raphy of the country. Low-LPC leaders were more ers better than did either LPG effect alone.supportive and developed a more enjoyable group at·mospher.e in the culture·trained situation than the Leadership Experience. The leaders experiencehigh·LPC ieaders did in the geography·trained situa· with leadership changes the situational favorability totion. These findings agreed with Fiedlers model in them (Bons & Fiedler, 1976). With continued experi- .•...that in favorable situations, high·LPC leaders should ence, tasks become more routine and leaders get totend to be concerned with the task, while 10w·LPC know their subordinates and usually can work betterleaders should tend to behave in a relationship·ori· with them. In addition, the leaders learn the expecta·ented manner. In unfavorable situations, the high·LPC tions of the higher authority.leaders should be concerned with relations and the low· Although the effectiveness of leaders, as a whole,LPC leaders, with task (Cummins, 1970). does not necessarily improve with experience (Fiedler, Arrangements. Whether members of groups were 1970a; Fiedler, 1972a), the contingency model predicts that leadership experience will have different effectscoacting (performing side by side) or interacting did not on the performance of high· and low·LPG leaders. In aseem to influence Hunts (1967) or W. Hills (1969a) gen· study of infantry squads by Fiedler, Bons, and Hastingserally supportive but nonsignificant findings. (1975),28 sergeants who served as squad leaders were Verbal Bellavior. The behavior, as well as the effec· evaluated at the time the units were formed and aftertiveness of followers, depends on the favorability of the they had had 5 months of experience. The sergeantssituation and the leaders LPG. Fiedler (1967a) found judgments about their situational favorability increasedthat group members made more task·related comments over the 5 months, as expected. The high·LPG leadersin favorable situations and fewer such comments in un· performed better at first when they had little experi-favorable situations under a high·LPG leader. The reo ence and situational favorability than they did 5verse was true for group members under the 10w·LPG months later. As predicted by the model, the low·LPGleader. Furthermore the group made more person·re· leaders performed relatively better after they had 5Iated comments in the unfavorable situation and fewer months experience and gained situational favorability.such comments in the favorable situation under the Similar results were found by Godfrey, Fiedler, andhigh·LPC leader. Hall (1959), for the general managers of 32 consumer
  • 510 Leadership and Managementcooperatives; by McNamara (1968), for Canadian ele· themselves. Fiedler argued that changing leader·mem-mentary and secondary school principals; and by Hardy ber relations, the structure of the task or a leaders posi-and Bohren (1975), for college teachers. Furthermore, tional power is easier than changing a leaders person-the training of leaders, based on the contingency ality. Leader Match (Fiedler, Chemers, & Mahar, 1976),model, generates similar dynamics and results (Chem- a training program thal tries to do so is discussed iners, Rice, Sundstrom, & Butler, 1975; Fiedler, 1972a).24 Chapter 35. The contingency model also has implica- tions for leadership under stressful conditions, which Organizational Shifting. Changes in organization is examined in Chapter 29.can have similar effects on situational favorability ascan increased experience. Bons and Fiedler (1976)tested th~ contingency model using experienced lead- Summary and Conclusionsers of army squads who were given new subordinates,new bosses, or new jobs. In general, the leader who is more highly rated by supe- In the stable condition of continuing with the same riors and peers, who is most satisfying to subordinates,bosses, subordinates, and jobs, the experienced leaders and whose approach results in the good performancewho were low in LPC were unaffected, but the per- of the group is likely to be both relations oriented andformance of experienced high·LPC leaders declined. task oriented in an integrated fashion. Blake and Mou·When a change of boss, subor~inates, or job moved tons theory is the strongest endorsement of this con-leaders from moderate ~ituational favorability to 10" clusion.situational favorability, the 10w·LPC leaders did again However, many situational contingencies have beenrelatively better. found to moderate the effects. These contingencies in- clude the makeup of the subordinates and the organi-Implications zational constraints, tasks, goals, and functions in the situation. The popular but underresearched and con-Fiedlers Contingency :Iodcl offers a remedial plan for troversial Hersey-Blanchard model has singled out theincreasing the effectiveness of leaders that is different followers psychological maturity and job experience asfrom all other theories of leadership. Blake and Mou· the most important contingencies affecting the lead-ton (1964), Hersey and Blanchard (1969b), R. Likert ers need to be task oriented or relations oriented.(19773), and Vroom and Yellon (1974), would see the Fiedlers widely researched contingency model statesneed to educate leaders to improve their styles. In the that (I) task orientation (as measured by LPC) workscase of Blake and Mouton, it would be toward the one best in situations that are either extremely favorable orbest style-9,9. For Hersey and Blanchard, it would de· extremely unfavorable to the leader or in which thepend on the sltlge in the groups life cycle and the fol· leader has very high or very low control and (2) relationslowe~ maturity. For Likert, it would be toward adem· orientation works best in situations that are moderatelyocratic style. For Vroom and Yetton, the decision favorable to the leader or in which the leader has mod-process to use would depend on the problem situation. erate control. Despite a vast array of publications onBut Fiedler (1978) suggested an entirely different the reliability, validity, and meaning of LPC and situa-course of action. Because a leaders LPC is what mat- tional favorableness and despite supportive tests of theters, and LPC is not very changeable, then either one model, the validity of the model continues to be dis·must identify and select leaders of high or low LPC to puted. Less controversial are the equal1y widely reofit given situations or leaders need to know their LPC searched concepts and behavioral measures of the lead-scores and in what situations they are most effective. ers consideration of their subordinates and the leadersThen, they can try to change the situation, rather than initiation of structure for their subordinates, the sub-:This Issue will he discussed in Chapter 35. ject of the next chapter.